Andy Stott
Luxury Problems


4.0
excellent

Review

by fish CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
November 23rd, 2012 | 45 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A dark, claustrophobic exploration along the border between machine and humanity

It has almost become a cliché in how relentlessly electronic music has been denounced by many as pseudo-music- lifeless, mechanical, and confined to the limits of computer programs. Some producers unceasingly uphold the stereotype, but when the sharp contrast between the genre’s computerised origins and its capacity to deliver human emotion is exploited, electronic music’s individual potential as one of the most powerful types of music can be realised. With Andy Stott perfectly managing the space, texture and details of his music in the terms of this idea, Luxury Problems is a sinister, captivating and beautiful listen.

Creating a space between the duality of the thick instrumentals underneath and Alison Skidmore’s choir-like vocals above, Luxury Problems’s cold, isolated atmosphere creates a base for its intricate developments. The music is unsettling and dark throughout, often seeping deeply into the realms of dark ambient (see “Expecting”) with crackling samples, rumbling synthesisers in the distance and a lack of strong instrumentals to keep the music tethered. The persistent techno-style repetitions, along with the throbbing bass (heard notably on “Hatch The Plan”), maintain this disturbing vibe. Probably the most notable part of the music is the vocals- their cut up, distorted nature feeling almost like the human voice of the music trying desperately to break open and live. That Andy Stott never truly lets it do so keeps the listener on edge, all the way until gorgeous closer “Leaving”, where after briefly teasing with a spot of lightness in the form of daintily textured vocals, the music fades back into a lingering, lonely darkness for the final moments of the album, never allowed to find its peace.

It’s almost as if the instrumentals tease these vocals. The lyrics are fragmented, leaving the music in a state of ambiguity, and the melodies twisted and psychotic. But whilst the vocals form the broken and despairing side of the music, this is complemented by the beats- thick, nicely toned and groovy. These form the heart of the music, most notably on “Sleepless”, kicking in to break in the real, digestible part of the music that tries containing the rampancy of the vocals whilst remaining menacing itself. It is difficult to create rhythms which can truly support a song on its own, but on Luxury Problems they do. However, this is part of the entire success of the album and its complex multi-dimensionality. On one level the beats provide a strong, satisfying listen, but the details and atmosphere in Luxury Problems’s gloomy, mysterious, minimalist ambience and in the beautiful desperation of the vocals is what demands that Luxury Problems be listened to and absorbed over and over.



Recent reviews by this author
JMSN †Pllajë†Say Lou Lou Better In The Dark
Sky Ferreira Night Time, My TimeM.I.A. Matangi
The Weeknd Kiss LandNK Nothing To Be Gained Here
user ratings (150)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Alex Robertson STAFF (4)
...

trending other albums

You're Dead!

Syro

Our Love

Virgins

Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


22024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

#pointlessreview

actually had trouble writing this one at first. great album though. will almost definitely be on my end of year list

anyway I'm off to bed cos it's almost 1am here

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


31399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did you just use the term "edm" in an Andy Stott review?

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


31399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

YOU DON'T GET TO COME BACK FROM THIS

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


2715 Comments


*snort*

pos - i like

mindleviticus
November 22nd 2012


8295 Comments


i kind of like this

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


31399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's still a huge step down from Merciless, just slightly more immediate though

mindleviticus
November 22nd 2012


8295 Comments


Yeah that's exactly what I thought

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


23923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you nailed it with that summary. i didn't read the review but i'm sure dev will critique it enough for the both of us.

in related news: I think I'm literally the only person here who loves this album to the unhealthy extent that I do. I think it's his best work by far.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


10302 Comments


Dat artwork is too good to be outdone by this guy's other releases. Come on, guys, get more superficial!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


31399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


in related news: I think I'm literally the only person here who loves this album to the unhealthy extent that I do. I think it's his best work by far.


Grab his Unknown Exception comp and listen to his early 12" stuff (if you haven't already, of course)

Gyromania
November 22nd 2012


15941 Comments


i prefer bad landing and merciless to this, but it's still great stuff.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


7110 Comments


I don't get the level of appreciation people are giving this album. Good write up though.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


7110 Comments


Back in the day yeah, but we progress and i should really get around to re rating that.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


7110 Comments


Back in the day yeah, but we progress and i should really get around to re rating that.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


7110 Comments


Back in the day yeah, but we progress and i should really get around to re rating that.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


23923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dev i've heard one of his earlier 12"s (I can't remember how) and I thought it was pretty good. I'll grab that comp though.

i'm wary about checking out Andy Stott's music all the time, and I was worried about this album. Half his stuff is just ok for me (like, Passed Me By wasn't even that good but people went crazy over it), but the other half is great, like Merciless.

i just love this so much more thouroughly than Merciless

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


31399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not the biggest fan of Passed Me By either, too many ideas that didn't really work with Stott's aesthetic stopped me from truly enjoying it. The comp is really just a good way of getting acquainted with the majority of his earlier stuff (instead of rec'ing a whole bunch of his 12" stuff)

Funeralopolis
November 23rd 2012


11618 Comments


really good review

Digging: Black Milk - If There's a Hell Below

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 23rd 2012


22024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did you just use the term "edm" in an Andy Stott review?

Did I just call Andy Stott "EDM"?

I'm not an idiot I do actually know what edm is

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2012


31399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That didn't answer my rhetorical question



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy