Album Review: From The Cradle To The Rave - Shit Robot

BlackPlastic has appreciated the work of Shit Robot since their track 'Wrong Galaxy' appeared on Radio Slave's rather excellent Creature Of The Night compilation back in 2007.

Back then 'Wrong Galaxy' felt like a breath of fresh air - proper techno done properly at a time when dance music was obsessed with being anything it wasn't. Electroclash, post-punk, rock music - all were greatly incorporated into tracks that worked on the dance floor, but sometimes less is more. And in essence From The Cradle To The Rave delivers on the promise of that first single.

Notably absent though it may be, 'Wrong Galaxy' is a demonstration of Shit Robot alter-ego Marcus Lambkin's approach to music. And so when album opener 'Tuff Enuff' turns up with it's functional, driving bass line, spoken vocals and minimal synth washes it is clear that this album will leave you wanting more, not less.

There are a couple of moments that may fail to live up to the heights that Shit Robot can sometimes achieve - 'I Found Love' feels unnecessary, particularly compared to the imagination demonstrated on previous singles 'I Gotta Feeling' or the dizzying 'Simple Things (Work It Out)'.

'Simple Things' itself remains the best thing Shit Robot have released - a track so perfectly formed that it simply never gets old, the perfect combination of classic techno and house where the real innovation comes from nothing but the bloody-minded quality of the thing.

The Alexis Taylor guest spot on 'Losing My Patience' is great and 'Take 'Em Up', featuring Nancy Whang, is even better - a slick slice of eighties-pop sheen. Things round out with previous single 'Triumph!!!' and frankly it's an appropriate name and an appropriate conclusion.

Cradle To The Rave succeeds because it is so focused - compared to much of DFA's output this is remarkably straight forward house music, but it is all the better for that fact.

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From The Cradle To The Rave is out now on DFA, available from on CD, LP and MP3 [affiliate links].