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Tplay (Special Extended Edition) by SND
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9/10 Mike 04 July 2014
Here's something a bit special - it's an expanded 70-minute reissue of SND's debut album 'Tplay' from back in 1998, which was now 16 years ago. Doesn't that make you feel old? Here the duo of Mark Fell and Mat Steel laid down the skeletal framework for their progressive minimalist techno revolution. This double LP has the original release's five tracks plus half an hour's worth of previously unreleased material from the same sessions, so long-time fans have good reason to snap up a second copy.   If you're not a long-time fan, what you have in store here is some delightfully subversive, deconstructed dance music, stripped back to awkwardly phasing clicky micro beats which stumble and flicker alongside delicate and hesitant synth loops. It's quite hypnotic and more vibrant and uplifting than it sounds like on paper. 'Tplay' still sounds like the future even 15 years on.

9/10 Chris 9th July 2014

Sheffield legends Mark Fell and Mat Steel have been following a rather singular trajectory over the past 16 or so years, and that – in their case at least – is no bad thing. They have refined a muscular, taut, ultra-minimalistic approach to electronic music that defines them as innovators and true originals.

This then is where it all began, back in 1998 with the Tplay EP. This welcome double LP re-issue collects together the five tracks from the original release as well as a whole load of never-heard-before recordings from the same studio sessions. Techno and dubby electronics get reduced down to their essential components, held together in a sparse framework with deft use of reverb and delay and shot through with the kind of garage shuffle that Mark Fell would later use to devastating effect on his house deconstructions as Sensate Focus.

If you picked this up the first time, you’ll definitely want the extra material on offer here, and if you’re new to SND this is a cracking place to start.


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