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Shit Robot: What Follows [Slipcase]

Track List

>In Love
>What Follows
>Ten Miles High
>Lose Control
>End of the Trail
>Phase Out
>Wir Warten
>Is There No End
>0B - 8 [Winter Mix] (remix)

Album Notes

Marcus Lambkin's Shit Robot released a fine album in 2013 that encompassed a wide range of electronic styles, from uptempo house to synth pop, with an emphasis on filling up dancefloors. We Got a Love's lineup was filled with some of his fellow DFA friends like Nancy Whang and Pat Mahoney, but also a few ringers like the Rapture's Luke Jenner and house legend Lidell Townsell. It was a great reentry to the scene after a few years away for Lambkin, capturing a sweet spot between floor-filling and relaxed listening that the best electronic music can hit. Instead of taking a long break or spending a lot of time woodshedding, Shit Robot came back quickly with another album that's just as good as Love, maybe even a little better thanks to the slightly more focused approach Lambkin and his all-star cast of collaborators utilize. What Follows doesn't cast as wide a net as Love did; it mainly sticks to techno and techno-pop, with long songs built around shiny synths and propulsive drum machines. Mixed cleanly by Juan MacLean, the album has a laboratory-fresh feel that could have come off as cold, but the vocal warmth of the singers employed makes sure the songs (sometimes) have audibly beating hearts. Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor takes the lead on two tracks, "In Love" and "End of the Trail," giving each a topcoat of yearning and warmth, and Nancy Whang shines as usual on the gritty dance-punk track "Lose Control." Pat Mahoney and New Jackson take a different route, with the former getting gloomy, Ian Curtis style, on the title track and the latter doing some fine vocoder work on the slow-cooking house track "Phase Out." While the vocals are nice and add a lot to the sound, the real stars are the wide array of synths and Lambkin's songwriting. The synths all sound perfect, whether vintage or '90s smooth, and the songs all have an almost epic ebb and flow that really serve to hook listeners right away. He's definitely not from the school of producers who just turn on the machines and let them run for six minutes without much of anything interesting happening. Here the songs have some real emotional depth, and there's always enough happening melodically or rhythmically to sooth, challenge, and inspire fans of classic synth pop and electronica. What Follows may not be as varied or flashy as We Got a Love, but it's just as impressive. Taken together, the two Shit Robot albums are vital documents of 2010s electronic pop music. ~ Tim Sendra


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