Detroit techno is the key influence here but 'Transmissions...' is no mere pastiche
Southend producer Spatial Awareness's career has been going from strength to strength over the past year or two,and this, his debut album, will do nothing to harm his growing reputation.
One thing we should get clear from the start: Transmissions From A Landlocked Island is a record that totally wouldn't exist if Messrs Atkins, Saunderson and May hadn't very kindly invented techno for us all back in the late 80s. Thankfully, though, there's enough variety on offer here to save this album from being merely one more 11-track homage to the Motor City.
The opening three cuts operate in fairly archetypal Detroit territory; indeed the second is entitled Set The Controls For Detroit and features that spoken vocal about aliens and UFOs being spotted over Belleville that I'm sure you've heard many times before. Elsewhere, though, Spatial Awareness demonstrates his ability to turn his hand to a wider variety of textures: from the housier Microlife to the Underworld-ish Odd Geometry, not to mention the scorching acid of the Voodoo Ray-nodding The Healing Dust, the shimmering 80s synth-pop flavas of Bloodshot Eyes or the more abstract I Think I'm Alive.
File under "quality techno that's intelligent without being (brrr) 'intelligent techno'."
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 3 June
Review Score: 8