Raw Digits, Rise Robots Rise
Friday 24 May 2002
Don't be put off by the cover: Raw Digits is one of the year's most exciting albums, an innovative fusion of noise and attitude that dispels once and for all the canard about the intrinsic soullessness of electronic music. Jamie Lidell and Cristian Vogel have both released solo albums before – notably the latter's absorbing Rescate 137 – but their work here as Super-collider is greater than the sum of their parts, its blend of semi-abstract, glitch-funk grooves and Lidell's breathless, agitated crooning recalling earlier techno pioneers such as Suicide and Cabaret Voltaire. Tracks such as "Closetails" and "Spillin Visions", with their jittery beats, oildrum bass tones, dark sheets of synth noise and impassioned soul phrasing, have an itchy, noirish quality: a sort of sinister digital ecstasy that's strangely addictive. There's a compelling fascination, too, in the way pieces teeter on the cusp of randomness but somehow slip into dark, infectious forms, like hibernating beasts grappling their way back to consciousness: "Gravity Rearrangin", for instance, opens with ominous bells and an assemblage of abstract synth noises, before oozing imperceptibly into an irresistible electro-funk-soul groove. Elsewhere, "Soily Soul" is the electro equivalent of Dr John's voodoo classic Gris Gris, a hypnotic, swampy dub-soul exercise glimpsed through a roiling fug of dope smoke, warmly atmospheric despite being constructed from electronic noise. I've no clear idea of what Lidell's on about for most of the time, but it hardly matters – it's the manner of his delivery, and the way his voice inhabits its sonic territory, that's most important here. Highly recommended.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture