Vee, as everyone knows, are zer robotz....

Vee, as everyone knows, are zer robotz. The art-school vocodery of [a]Add N To X[/a] might currently be its most overground manifestation, but the turntablist fraternity’s continuing fascination with electro – where the cold fingers of the machine tap out love letters on a Speak And Spell – strangely warms der cockles.

No less strange is it, that the man at the controls on this superlative mix of clubbable contemporary robotics should be J Saul Kane. Pioneer of the Englishman’s use of the altogether warmer hip-hop breakbeat, for him to take on New York’s other, [a]Kraftwerk[/a]-derived, emergent early-’80s form seems a little odd. The brother proceeds, however, to admirably ‘Werk it out.

The core texts of the genre (Mantronix, Grandmaster Flash, the heavily-sampled Herbie Hancock) already taken on by David Toop in his ‘Booming For Droids’ compilation, Kane‘s plot is to give a consistency to the modern electro responses from today’s Teutonic dancefloor. Abrasiveness of a hellish kind comes from Anthony Rother and Scorn, while standout track ‘Little Computer People’ by the Little Computer People Project adds a quaint groove that’s a fitting lament for defunct peripherals. Soft Cell‘s ‘Tainted Love’, though, is the unspoken point of electro-derived music in an aluminium nutshell. It might be mechanical. But it’s got a soul that hurts.

Approach the cashpoint kindly. Machines have feelings too.