- Looking back at UK dub techno producer Andy Stott's body of work as a whole rather than two or three tracks at a time reveals a back catalog every bit as rich as his peers. Blessed with an ear for space and a knack for constructing tracks that are simultaneously smooth and rumbling, Stott neatly strides the axis between intelligent techno, dub techno and dubstep. This welcome compilation of vinyl-only tracks on Modern Love should go a long way to defining him as an artist while maintaining his appeal in all camps.
Drawing inspiration from the usual dub techno suspects (Basic Channel is loud and clear) and fusing them with minimalist ideals and bathwater-warm melodies and textures, Stott's tracks offer a deep home listening experience, as well as the requisite punch to make club floors move. Witness 2007's "Handle With Care," wherein a fathoms-deep bass line and echoic percussion track soon give way to some sub-aquatic padded chords and a ghostly melodica, drifting off to dub-laden bliss; it's followed by "Long Drive," an up-tempo crackler that starts with those same mellow chord progressions and snapping snares before giving way to a deeper, darker electro-derived line akin to classic Model 500. The next track, "Credit," barely keeps the chains on the beast, rising from warm, swollen chords to an unholy rumble of cymbals and bass and back again over the course of its seven-minute run time.
Working with consistent tones and a palette that never seems to get tired, Stott makes even his most dissimilar material sit comfortably together long enough to take a loving family portrait. And yes, trainspotters, "Hostile," the sought-after track that sold out its print run of 350 in a mere 24 hours, is here in all its glory. Even better, it is every bit as great as you've heard, a dynamic mélange of loops that manages to move forward and spin in place simultaneously.
The fact that the tracks on Unknown Exception are assembled in random chronological order further highlights Stott's consistency of tone and quality. Despite his pedigree, popularity and near-universal acclaim, Stott still holds somewhat of a low profile; Unknown Exception should raise it exponentially.
01. Fear of Heights
02. Bad Landing
03. Handle with Care
04. Long Drive
07. See in Me
08. Made Your Point
09. She's Gone Wrong
10. Fine Metallic Dollar