Dan Avery (GB)
If the main motivation whilst making Drone Logic was to take the listener on a hi-fidelity trip for the duration of his debut album, then Daniel Avery emphatically succeeded. From Water Jump’s hypnotic pulse and punch through to the crystalline click of closer Knowing We’ll Be Here via the title track’s elemental acid swirl and New Energy’s take on Neon Lights relocated to a post-midnight cab ride through London, Avery’s debut pushed and pulled at the senses and blurred the boundaries between dancefloor and home listening experience. Thoroughly modern, utterly ‘now’, it was a record that justified Andrew Weatherall’s selection of Avery as ‘one to watch’ in Time Out - adding that he that made “gimmick-free machine-funk of the highest order”. Drone Logic is indeed that: an album confident enough to sit comfortably next to the genre’s classics. Released on Erol Alkan's wildly psychedelic Phantasy label (home to Connan Mockasin, Ghost Culture, Babe Terror and Alkan's own recorded output), reviews were unanimous in praise: "A mesmerising debut" (Mixmag); "In a league of its own" (NME); "Exceptional" (The Times); "Underground dance music with this much ambition hasn't been heard in quite a while" (Resident Advisor); "Avery owns this space" (Pitchfork); "One of the finest techno albums of the year" (The Quietus); "A benchmark for so many other dance albums to aspire to" (Dummy). Its success has been furthered by the fact that Drone Logic doesn't really fit expected templates of what a dance record in 2014 should sound like. There are no set piece vocals; when voices emerge on tracks, they are invariably disembodied, odd. And as distortion whips across techno-based backing tracks, it splices modern club music with the kind of sounds that forward thinking guitar bands might conjure up. The result is wholly compelling, gloriously transcendent and one that immediately struck a chord with club DJs, from heads of state Richie Hawtin, The Chemical Brothers and Justin Robertson to the best of the new class in Maya Jane Coles, KiNK and Jackmaster.
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