The long wished-for repress of Lifestyles of the Laptop Café finally materialises, fifteen years after the late James Stinson of Drexciya renown released the classic anonymously as the Other People Place on Warp. It’s a seamless, calming and moving piece of downtempo electronica that has become a key album in dance music history, and should well be a staple item in any home listening fan’s collection with its renewed availability.
10/10 Ant Staff review, 22 February 2018
Finally re-pressed after its original release back in 2001, there’s gonna be a lot of very happy folks out there -- now that they don’t have to auction off a semi-vital organ in order to purchase an original copy. ‘Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café’ is of course, one of Drexciya’s ‘Seven Storms’ - a series of seven albums released before James Stinson’s untimely transition to the stars. His spirit lives on through his music, and so it seems just, that this is now easily obtainable on vinyl to further spread his legacy and musical vision. Hell, such was the demand that fans started their very own online campaign for a repress, and thankfully Warp complied.
I’ve lived with this album since it came out, my copy is absolutely battered and bares the scars of many a hefty session, so a fresh clean copy is most welcome. When I first heard this album there were a few standout tracks which I really loved, but others didn’t really do a great deal for me - I was a total Drexciya freak at the time and was more into the gnarly sci-fi electro stuff. Then after spending some time with it, I was totally seduced by its subtle magic, and now hold it in the highest esteem - right up there with the very best records Warp have ever released. There’s a real charm to the simplicity; the skeletal drums, gently fluttering melodies, sun-bleached funk and economic deployment of vocals. It really shows a whole other side to James Stinson - a glimpse behind the mask. Of all the Drexciyan catalogue, this remains the closest thing we have to a full portrait of the artist -- not taking into account some of the more personal tracks scattered here and there, such as the breathtaking ‘Memories of Me’ from the Transllusion LP on Rephlex. I still get goosebumps from this album - a deeply introspective personal work of “high-tech soul” that oozes romance, sorrow, loneliness and joy. I suppose essentially it’s a collection of love songs.
There’s an incredible amount of beauty in these tracks, and I really couldn’t pick a favourite, but certainly ‘You Said You Want Me’ I rate as one of the most utterly gorgeous, heart-melting pieces of electronic music ever recorded. The heavenly ‘Let Me Be Me’ is like an anthem for the human race, a track that’s provided me with endless solace. And now I must go... because I could fucking cry my eyes out waffling on about just how life-affirming this record is. An absolute gift to the world.
10/10 Gregor Omelasz Customer review, 7th February 2017
One of Warp's best ever releases. This album is one of the smoothest and relaxing experiences to have come out in the last two decades. It's a credit to the man, the maker, James Stinson, he dabbled in several aliases to separate certain pieces of music from the Drexciya moniker, and this one is probably his finest hour. It's not often I'll laud a record to the point of exhaustion, but this album is one of them. From start to finish, it's a stone cold classic. It just lets me be what I want to be innit?
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