VA: Laptik
Digital Gadget / Front

On its first compilation, Laptik, Digital Gadget/Front serves up a set of robust, Berlin-flavoured computer love that should appeal strongly to fans of Chiastic Slide-era Autechre. The EP features material by Helvetikone and Bogger (both of whom have already issued material on Digital Gadget), Underscan's Menu:Exit, Jeff Pils, and CCO's Miwon, so quality and variety are virtually guaranteed. Helvetikone's “Nothing” makes good on its pole position with a mighty onslaught of willowy synth tones, ricocheting clangs, and churning mechano-funk beats, while Bogger's “Don Knispel” opts for a dizzying dub-styled approach where scalpel-sharp funk patterns slip and slide. Elsewhere, Menu:Exit sprinkles fragments of an announcer's speaking voice over a megaton of machine funk in “How to Get a Basket,” and Jeff Pils' “Hazelnut” convulses spasmodically with intricate beatsmithing and shape-shifting melodic squelch. Compared to his fellow passengers, Miwon travels a more straight-ahead route in the acidy techno raver “Make My Day” but keeps the funk quota high.

September 2007