Clash (magazine) - "The ear-splitting 'Dek U', synched up to Cerberus' dog whistle, is an excitingly desolate headbanger. 'Spiral' is one of Acre's kamikaze missions clanging like an infinitely-sized pinball machine..."
Mysterious Mancunian producer Acre made his full-length debut in late 2015 on Pinch's always forward-thinking Tectonic label. The tracks on this album, titled Better Strangers, feature jagged beats and distorted, sometimes smothering bass tones, and while it gets a bit obtuse, it doesn't overlook the dancefloor. As fractured and broken as some of the rhythms seem, they do keep to a steady pace and never fall apart completely, or erupt into violent fits of rage the way producers like Rabit or Visionist do. Acre's tracks are highly inventive, stringing together surveillance-camera sounds and shotgun blasts on the eerie, paranoid "Always Crashing," and augmenting "Dek U"'s hypnotic slo-mo grime rhythm with slipping, shuddering jungle breakbeats. On "Holding Hands," he takes a sideways glance at U.K. garage and R&B, incorporating fractured vocal samples and the album's clearest rhythm, resulting in a cool, futuristic, abstract pop song. "Ruby Tiers" flips to the other side of the coin, showcasing Acre at his most abrasive and explosive. Dark, dislodged, and blown out while still being approachable, Better Strangers is a very impressive album. ~ Paul Simpson