autoKratz - Down & Out in London & Paris

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Alongside the likes of Digitalism and Late Of The Pier, London-based electro house duo autoKratz have been one of the lucky beneficiaries of a recent significant profile boost, thanks to their inclusion on Kitsune’s Kitsune Maison No.5 compilation, an event which coincided with their breakthrough Reaktor/It’s On 12” being released through the same label. With the duo managing to drop a slew of subsequent 12”s over the past 12 months or so in the same overdriven, cut-up vein to the likes of Boys Noize and Digitalism as well as excellent remixes for Underworld and Fischerspooner, this nine track Orwellian-titled ‘mini-album’ serves as a compilation of autoKratz’s vinyl output to date, with the duo apparently promising to return during 2009 with another album of all-new material.

Things pretty much open with a bang, with Reaktor leading the charge here, and indeed it pretty much offers an indicative taste of what’s in store throughout the rest of this album, sending gritty house snares rolling beneath exactly the same sort of distorted angular analogue synth riffs and bleeps that Justice built the backbone of their Cross album around, before It’s On sends cut-up and timestretched vocals stuttering over the sorts of pressurised technoid rhythms and overloaded synth squeals that Alter Ego have made their own, albeit with some additional New Wave synth-pop stylings added for color.

By complete contrast Last Show plays the electro-pop angle far more, with highly successful results, sending David autoKratz’s phased vocals sliding between a web of shimmering New Wave synths and jangling, New Order-esque guitar textures, before Pardon Garcon (in partially ‘re-werked’ form from their previous Kitsune Maison appearance) offers up what’s easily one of the biggest exercises in dancefloor devastation, David’s vocal cameo during the breakdown sections adding a sly, teasing edge to the scorched landscape of distorted synth squeals and punching tech-house rhythms that powers beneath.

While it’s slight pity that closing track Hearts represents the lone truly new track here, those keen to pick up autoKratz’s impressive 12” backcatalogue should be well impressed with Down & Out In Paris & London.

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