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Where [B]Atkins[/B] brings some originality to bear is in his blending of P-funk grooves with machine-age noises, as in the electro-smooch [B]'Rain'[/B] or the slithery [a]Prince[/a]-esque [B]'Just

Due to a recent EC legal ruling, all Model 500 reviews must begin with a reminder that Juan Atkins is one of Detroit techno's founding holy trinity. Such reverence obscures the fact that techno has travelled light years since its underground heyday, often leaving pioneers like Atkins as far behind as Elvis was left by psychedelia. By predicting the future, he rendered his own future predictable.



Thus 'Mind And Body', only the second full album under the Model 500 moniker in 15 years of legendary singles and cool remixes, should feel like a momentous landmark release. Alas, the bastard techno offspring spawned by Atkins and his Detroit brethren have long since lapped him in the innovation stakes, so that ultra-abstract bleepscapes such as 'Psychosomatic' and the minimal title track sound accomplished but hardly progressive in our post-Aphex universe.



Where Atkins brings some originality to bear is in his blending of P-funk grooves with machine-age noises, as in the electro-smooch 'Rain' or the slithery Prince-esque 'Just Maybe'. Recent single 'Be Brave' also boasts a velvet-lined R&B flavour, while 'Incredible' marries a junglist beat to female soul voices and spooked sound effects. We wager that Juan has a copy of Goldie's 'Inner City Life' somewhere in his Detroit bunker.



Not quite left behind, then, just running to keep up.
6 / 10

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