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A Magazine for

Stowaway

Watch the studio session videos that Ansome posts online and you'll be able to tell just how much fun he has while making music. Despite using a labyrinthine modular analogue set-up and despite working in the all-too-serious field of industrial techno, Ansome's productions maintain a lively playfulness that is dangerously compelling at 5am in a warehouse sweatbox.

Ansome has amassed an impressive catalogue since debuting on his own S.L.A.M. label only 18 months ago, including releases on Perc Trax and Mord. Stowaway is his first album-length release and a return to Perc Trax, where his signature sound is thoroughly at home with Perc's own confrontational approach.

Ansome makes good use of the LP to develop a more expansive approach but loses none of the vital energy that powered his 12" missives. The title track is an archetypal Ansome attack, all distorted kick and scrap metal percussion with a raw acid hook. 'Black Alley Sally' isn't quite as driving, but absolutely drips with the influences that constitute Ansome's uniquely British aesthetic, a dubstep bass affinity sitting alongside rave pads in a bleak dystopia.

The standout track is, however, the longest on the album. 'The Pain Train' shows that Ansome's knack for pacing extends beyond precision timed gut-punch blasts. A hypnotic synth line simmers tantalisingly in the murky reverb between the kicks and waits a full five minutes before boiling over into its pummelling denouement. It's an exciting development in Ansome's fast-evolving sound that bodes well for future releases.

Michael Hobson

by Now Then Manchester