Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Claro Intelecto-Neurofibro
Label: Ai
Street Date: 28th April 2004

Neurofibro-- A techno-appropriate album title if ever one existed. However, Mark Stewart struggled with the genetic nerve disease of the same name throughout the recording of his debut record. While only a handful of house/techno artist albums are coherent pieces from start to finish—think Villalobos’ Alcachofa or Carl Craig’s More Songs…many are simply a collection of unrelated 12s. To the contrary, Neurofibro is something sincere; a cohesive offering of highly polished and varied techno that updates classic sounds. The album ebbs and flows freely, with changes in tone, tempo and emotional content. Songs range from the ethereal and uplifting “Chicago,” to the clunky microsampled “Back” with its restrained 303 acid squiggle. “Peace of Mind” features crisp hi-hats dancing in regiments over sad piano chords, leading to a stirring string piece. It can be said that some of the most pure, focused art in any medium comes from times of pain and hardship, and this undoubtedly applies to Stewart’s highly moving debut. (CJN)

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