With previous EPs released on Tectonic, Cold Recordings and PAN’s sub-label Codes, Better Strangers is Acre’s album debut. From previous works showcasing rave flashbacks and heavily distorted jungle breaks akin to Andy Stott productions. From his own words Acre has injected more emotion into this release than previous outings, meaning this could be a pleasantly tough record to digest. Available on double LP or CD.
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 17 December 2015
It’s album time for Acre, a collection of 4 letters that together spell music. Truth is, I’m not sure what kind of music has preceded the release of this massive excursion into beats and melodic noises, so yes, this is an album of music by a person who has done it before.
Better Strangers is like a distorted, hyperreal interpretation of the post-dubstep thing that popped up a few years back. Dub-pace broken beats rasp away while some glossy synths alternate between twinkling and roaring, also rasping like a mofo. It could be seen as fairly chill, were the other layers not murky and manic, lying closer to grime than the airy float of Phaeleh or Synkro, with an industrial tint that makes the whole thing totally danceable. Serious late night skank stuff here. There’s some imaginative use of noise and found sounds, with synths doubled with white noise hisses and fine metal objects clattering quietly in the background.
I haven’t got much time as the Xmas rush is currently in full swing and I feel so left out, but this is a killer debut record from a very talented and forward-thinking producer. It’s a meeting point between beat-lovers of many kinds, bits of dubstep, grime, garage, etc etc, all mostly instrumental, letting his able control of synths and samples shine through. And how it shines.
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- Better Strangers by Acre
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