VA: Ai022LP
Ai Records

The final EP release in Ai's “dot” series finds three previously-highlighted artists serving up two banging cuts apiece of immaculately designed electronic dance music. The Third Man's “Circadian Rhythms” kicks the doors open with a wiry bass pulse and buckshot snares beautifully leading the charge. Burbling keyboard patterns quickly shift the tune into electro overdrive before epic synth streams come flooding into view. It's a crisp and polished stormer that speaks highly for The Third Man's stylish handling of his material. Najem Sworb's playful head-nodder “Rodstac” is up next, a nimble-footed fusion of electro and techno replete with dancing synth patterns, springy rhythms, and smothering washes. Plant 43's “Warehouse Window” closes the A side with an epic swirl of electro-funk beats, chiming keyboard patterns, and assorted other sonic blaze.

The trio steps up again on the flip side in the same order. The Third Man's “Time And A Half” throbs in that inimitable Detroit style before morphing into a house-drenched swinger draped in tones that gleam so brightly they almost blind. Najem Sworb strips “Padreduct” to its straight-up techno essence and assails it with shards of metallic clangor and fiery stabs, after which Plant 43's “Hydrodynamic Escape” offers up a glorious outro of synth flourishes, silky strings, and chugging beats. Think thirty-eight minutes of prototypical Ai goodness heavily indebted to Drexciya, Underground Resistance, and Kraftwerk and you're pretty much there.

July 2008