- Eight years ago, Matt Edwards told Resident Advisor that he had no plans to make a Radio Slave LP, preferring to keep his most famous alias for remixes and 12-inches. It's not clear why the Berlin-based UK artist's mind has since changed, because his music certainly hasn't. Indeed, you could almost take this album's title as a wry admission that recent singles (such as 2014's "Werk") have done little to expand on the formula set by earlier releases like 2008's "Grindhouse Tool"—that is, meaty kicks garnished with the barest slivers of melody and vocals, often stretched out to ten minutes or more. They're ideal qualities for the 4 AM dance floor, but risk wearing thin over an entire album.
Feel The Same begins with the sounds of heavy machinery and distant morse bleeps in "2nd Home," and gets even more ominous with "Forana," where a guttural undertow contrasts with celestial synths. It's only by the next track, "Feel The Same," that the album hits its dance floor stride. All the classic Radio Slave elements come into play on a tune that, like "Trans," which follows, will satisfy those seeking his trademark sound. "Axis," an album highlight, shows us another Edwards hallmark: his mastery of layering and repetition. The 12-minute track builds to an epic finale where the Detroit influences are as apparent as its nod to Jeff Mills. It's one of Radio Slave's best tracks yet, and the crunchy electro of "Geisterstadt" is up there with it.
Edwards has also tried to broaden out a bit. "With You" is a more downbeat version of the breakbeat style heard on a recent track, "The Revenge," and there's "Draw"'s circling synths and clattering percussion. He's tackled the album format successfully before, particularly on 2006's Made In Menorca, where, as REKID, he adapted his sound with psychedelic house and disco touches into something more colourful and less sparse, and where the more experimental moments worked as part of a coherent whole. Here though, tracks like "101," with its foreboding drones, seem too slight compared to Feel The Same's dance floor monoliths. For all its solid grooves, it seems Edwards' original inclination was right.
01. 2nd Home
03. Feel The Same
10. With U
11. No Words / Just This