Slam
Alien Radio

By Gavin Weale

 
Hard to fault the Glaswegian granddaddies of techno after all they've done for the music many of us have enjoyed for the last ten tears or more. Everyone involved in this kind of music usually has a tale to tell – and usually a life-altering one – about a Slam night, and their reputation requires no embellishment here. This record undoubtedly will cement that reputation among an even wider sphere of influence: it's an accessible, well-produced, emotional accomplishment that demonstrates studio skills of the highest order. It has clear and respectful references to Detroit techno, Chicago house, and even ventures into more experimental electro territory with title track Alien Radio. There are well-judged collaborations with Dot Allison, Tyrone Palmer and Lavelle. It's got the words 'masterpiece' and 'best' written all over it. It's Slam on top form, eclipsing 1996's Headstates and proving a deep, varied understanding of dance music.

But there's that lingering sense that it's a little too polished to break new-ground in the way that those infamous Sub Club nights of yore did. There's nothing that makes you look up at the speakers in wonder and exuberantly shout 'fuck me!' with your hair standing on end. I'll leave the cynical over-expectations at that – it's a solid LP of high-quality dance music that'll probably go down as a classic…
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