Left Hand Path is an ode to the other. the outside. the odd and uncanny. a window to the wilds of theoutdoors from the crushing claustrophobia of the rat race. Musically. the new Aspects album deftly treads the light beam divide of old and new - at times dusty-fingered and familiar. yet finding moments of un-quantized lo-fi sci-fi - not far from L.A.s Low End Theory sound buffet.
Left Hand Path is steeped in the band's hallmarked contradictions: while the DJ Format-helmed 'BeaTTapes' and 'See You Next Tuesday' are unequivocally old-school, they're infused with enough Aspects punk DNA to sit comfortably with the raygun-toting boom of Akira Kiteshi's 'Scumerset' - a track already enjoying airtime on BBC Radio 1 (Rob da Bank, Phil Taggart and Alice Levine) and XFM (Eddy Temple-Morris). Keeping the Aspects sound intact, the group enlist their extended family for much of the production: Long time carer, remixer and guru, 7STU7 lays down two discordant and ethereal tracks - 'What Time Is It?' and 'Dead Frequency' - percussively lurching, atmospheric, like RZA on bad acid. Fellow Quakers conscript and Bristol rap legend, Deed delivers an unholy offspring of spiritual folk and broken circuit Hip Hop on 'No Man's Land', where emcees Beezlibubber, Mantis and El Eye lay out their stall on escaping the rat race into a future of dissolved civilisation. Deed is also behind the bombastic, breakneck 'Layman's Terms', here Mantis expresses the working man's lament. One of 2012's hottest electronica newcomers Memotone combines live instruments with field recordings to flesh out El Eye's childhood ghost-opera, 'Trouble in Town', longtime collaborator and virtuoso on the MPC Evil Ed leaves his comfort zone birthing 'Faceache', a greezy, straight-edge funk workout, Cali's hottest Bristolian import, Awkward lends his fractalised future funk to 'No More Stories', where muted drums and searing synths mesh with three distinctive takes on rhyme.
(added: 2013-04-09 15:32:01 )