Album: THE GASMAN – Audiogold (Planet Mu ZIQ185 2007)

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Portsmouth producer Christopher Reeves, aka the Gasman, is nothing if not prolific. Audiogold is something like his eighth album in less than five years. His music sits somewhere between Murcof and Susumu Yokota’s neo-classical cut-ups, and banging acid house. At its best, it can be an extremely effective synthesis. The opener, and best track, “Crucible” sounds like a collision between an eighties rave and a nineteenth century Viennese ballroom. It has a kind of elegiac, wistful splendour underpinned by some serious breakbeat action.

Elsewhere, some tracks more or less ditch the strings altogether for some straightforward, old school techno. “(mx90)” is one of these – it even resurrects that James Brown vocal sample that seemed to appear on every bloody dance track in around 1990 (hence mx90, I guess – nothing gets past me). Unfortunately it’s as irritating now as it was then. It’s the thing though that prevents Audiogold from being a truly satisfying listen. There are too many knowing jokes, and much of it is too derivative of mid nineties electronica (e.g. “Pyrex”) for its own good. The album does have some superb material, though. “Personics” rattles along breathlessly, “Molten” has some crashing percussion, and “Trampoline4” is a cosmic techno ballad. Audiogold isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s an enjoyable hour.

Tracks
1 Crucible (Remix) (6:05)
2 IEC II (5:12)
3 (Mx90) (5:56)
4 Sharp-GF 4646 (4:38)
5 Pyrex (4:36)
6 Squash (4:18)
7 (Rev) (4:22)
8 Personics (5:00)
9 Battery Hen (3:46)
10 Memorex (5:06)
11 Molten (4:42)
12 Trampoline4 (5:18)

Website
www.planet-mu.com

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