Music Reviews

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When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence / Harmonic 313

Harmonic 313 - When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

Warp Records

Okay, so this has been around for a few months now and I should have reviewed it much earlier. On the positive side, this has given me the chance to live with the album for a while and really listen to it for pleasure and not because I have to. So, I can honestly say that this latest offering from the UK’s Mark Pritchard – now based in Sydney – is really quite brilliant. Imagine Dilla composing the score to the classic ‘80s movie Tron and you’ve got a fairly good idea of the sound and style of “When Machines…”. Purely synthetic – not unlike Dorian Concept’s material – with huge, growling, Dub-influenced bass-lines and Donkey Kong-esque early video game effects, the tracks are haunting, Sci-Fi sound-scapes with the swagger and swing of Detroit Hip-Hop. This is captured most perfectly in ‘Battlestar’ featuring Dilla’s former collaborators Phat Kat and Elzhi (the ever impressive Steve Spacek contributes elsewhere on the album). If you haven’t checked this out yet then you absolutely must, particularly if you’re a fan of next generation, Beat Dimensions type Hip-Hop.

Tom Breslin, 05/09