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Luxury Problems

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Following on from a pair of extended players released in 2011 (Passed Me By/We Stay Together) Andy Stott returns to Modern Love with Luxury Problems, an eight-track album of new material recorded over the last 12 months. Five of the tracks on the album feature the voice of Alison Skidmore, Andy's one-time piano teacher whom he hadn't seen since he was a teenager back in 1996. There was no grand gesture in mind, it just sort of happened -- but after almost a year of studio work, the result is really quite unlike anything you'll have heard from him before. "Numb" opens the album with Alison's voice; layered and looped, but essentially left bare and exposed, tumbling into a dense shuffle, sort of somewhere between Theo Parrish and Sade, but more effed. "Lost and Found" follows and deploys a growling rave bass line and a disturbed vocal, the beat assembling itself around a squashed Linndrum like a submerged Prince/Cameo production, haunted and impenetrable, but full of funk. "Sleepless" started life as an African drum edit that sooner or later succumbed to Stott's intense rhythmic shifts. It's a sound that's been imitated countless times since the release of Passed Me By, here re-tooled and re-built for its next evolutionary phase. "Hatch the Plan" ends the first half of the album with some heavily treated location recordings and a low-end grind that probably doesn't quite prepare you for the vocal arrangements that follow -- it's just a beautifully inverted pop song. The second half opens with "Expecting," the most recognizably "Stott" moment on the album: a wrecked, deliriously knocked-out 4/4 shuffle deployed at half-speed; those heavy kick drums sucking in everything around them. "Luxury Problems" offers up the album's most quietly euphoric moment; conventional arrangements and drum loops are disrupted by sharp disco bursts that mess with what you know: it's straight and beautiful and unbalanced and damaged, somehow all at once. "Up the Box" messes with the narrative and goes somewhere else entirely, an extended intro that seems to build continuously for 3 minutes before breaking off into a slowed-down amen edit, creating a kind of narcotic jungle variant that fragments everything and ends just at the point you think it's going to go off, before "Leaving" finishes the album with an almost unbearably-beautiful arrangement of voice and synth and a final key-change that takes you from joyful to forlorn in an instant.

Review

...an evocative and immersive soundtrack for a sustained look within. It's the headphones album of the year from a producer with a long history who has come into his own. --Pitchfork

Though he's had plenty of strong releases in the past, this one has the inspired feeling of an artist truly finding his footing a breakthrough, in other words. Whatever the case may be, most of his fans would probably be perfectly happy if he carried on like this forever. --Resident Advisor

Murky, dense, menacing, feral, exotic, and humid, both captured a genre-dissolving iteration of infinitely layered bass decay, a roiling throb so monolithic it makes just about everything else that's emerged from the dark-techno zone in recent years resemble mice scurrying about the legs of elephants. --Spin
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Modern Love
  • ASIN: B009DB7UX2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,876 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
I know very little about 'Dub Techno' so I'll keep this review rather short. If you like electronic music that feels unsettling and nefarious than you really should check out Luxury Problems. The atmosphere on this album is created by Alison Skidmore's sonorously looped vocals that are deftly shaped around a 4/4 pulse of cold hi hats and dark ruminative bass. It's a claustrophic experience to listen to this from start to finish, but a necessary one if you want to unlock the menacing power contained within these 50 minutes.
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By Trevorw24 on November 10, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
This album is masterful. It's the best in this realm that I've heard since "Replica" by OPN. I'll be enjoying this one for a while. Stott's work has only improved over time, and will only.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Andy stott has changed the face of micro techno, glitch and dark sounds.burial scratches at the gates of hell,andy stott takes you in one side and out the other. I cant say enough about the micro techno coming out of england ! Also check outthe triangle label. For the more advanced listener all .
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I hesitate to cast such a pall over the golden child of the dub techno world of 2012, but I did not find this album as compelling as was suggested. To clarify, I am not a frequent dub techno listener, but after reading this was the "headphone album of the year", I picked this up when it dropped to $6, high hopes included. My electronic impulses typically lead me to the likes of Burial, Shlohmo, Nosaj Thing, Clams Casino, and the Tri Angle Records roster. This album was not as melodic or welcoming as the likes of them, but it may be for you. Stream it where you can, as the bookends (especially single "Numb") are friendlier than the middle passage.
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Format: Audio CD
A four part formula: High end headphones. A Dark room. A mind altering substance. This album. Bliss... Luxury Problems has a great sense of space and some juicy bass/beats to move you along through the droned out synth swirls. Drink up.
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Format: Audio CD
The sadness of the vocals that permeate "Numb," the opening track of Andy Stott's LUXURY PROBLEMS, gives way to the dark chugging that grounds the track, while the more operatic vocals of "Lost and Found" find their home in a twisted funhouse of sound, even as it suddenly cuts into the gonging tones and sludgey funk of "Sleepless." Stott is all about the atmosphere, and he delivers that in spades. The folksy vocals of "Hatch The Plan" come up against a wall of the thick stuff, whereas "Expecting" starts with the grind and doesn't let up. The title track has an undeniable groove, and while it isn't as dark as the rest of the album, offers its own charms. "Up the Box" is a rhythmic workout, almost all breaks, indeed breaking with tradition, and "Leaving" end the album with a chorus of voices, A fascinating and enthralling album, through and through.
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Format: MP3 Music
3rd release from Manchester, England artist is an invitation to hypnotic immersion in an alternate
soundscape world. Recorded in Heaven, where something is ever-so-slightly off, "Luxury
Problems" is the sound of angels working their way through rumbling demonic temptations, via
repetition and reinforcement of the celestial dance atmosphere. The light & airy, but eerily
haunting, voice of Alison Skidmore glides on an elevated plane while lower realm grunts and
burbles abound, sometimes steered by earthy trip-hop rhythms, sometimes suspended over an
endless, inviting cavern of darkness. Angelic sensuality and below-the-earth, beat-driven tribal
menace are all wrapped in a provocatively gauzy, atmospheric sheen of David Lynch-ian beauty
and terror. It's an inherently spiritual electronic domain, where the nature of the spirits isn't
always apparent, but the beauty & power of their grasp is unavoidable. Reminiscent of Fever
Ray, Matthew Dear, Vladislav Delay, Gazelle Twin, Sigur Ros, American Horror Story soundtrack.
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Format: Audio CD
A lot of dark techno is either too hard, too mechanical or soulless. This is something really different. Luxury Problems builds upon and dramatically expands the foundations of earlier EPs where Stott dropped the tempo to critical acclaim. The BPMs here remain slow, there are loads of samples that make clear Stott's reference points fall closer to hip hop and funk than industrial or drone. Listen closely to the distorted vocal samples in "Sleepless" to hear what I mean. The comparisons to early Burial are not far off the mark. The tracks with the female vocals provide a truly beautiful contrast to the dark and drearier under current. If you want to know what is at the forefront of electronic dance music right now, it is this.
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