Before Jungle, Big Beat and Speed Garage, electronica's [I]` la mode[/I] was the viscous brand of 'found-sounds' forged by Future Sound Of London....

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BEFORE JUNGLE, BIG BEAT AND SPEED garage, electronica’s [I]` la mode[/I] was the viscous brand of ‘found-sounds’ forged by Future Sound Of London. It’s almost a forgotten art in these days of precise-cut grooves, but though FSOL remain AWOL, Neotropic’s Riz Maslen seems intent on jogging our memories.

And on scorching our ears and carving up our composure. Because for the follow-up to 1995’s ’15 levels Of Magnification’, she’s devised a hectic sonic journal which swerves between the giddily miraculous and sensations akin to enduring everyone in your own town simultaneously cranking up their stereos.

There is, for instance, brutal digital dub, jazz-thrash, cavernous passages of spiralling effects and, on ‘Insane Moon’, the rare achievement of splicing an urbane crooner to filmic funk. Which mentions a few of the densely compacted styles here, at least.

It’s an ambitious undertaking, and one that’s not helped when Maslen tries too hard to lay on the sepulchral atmospheres; but elsewhere, she unfurls this vast portfolio of samples with cunning aplomb. Approach with caution, and possibly Anadin.