If there is one underlining virtue of ‘Machine Therapy’, it’s being far from bankrupt of ideas. Wildly explorative in nature, UK club-bill mainstay Alan Fitzpatrick showcases with his first LP in a decade everything from melodic house to industrial techno and garage breaks with healthy doses of ambient stylings throughout. But despite the common pitfalls of spinning so many plates at once, Fitzpatrick proves with fantastic spectacle that his latest is not only wide as an ocean, but near deep as one too.
With credit no less, to standout vocal performances. From Lawrence Hart lending a tangibly intimate touch to tracks like ‘Warning Signs’ to the massive, reverb-laden projections of LOWES that soar over the syncopated square bass lines of ‘A Call Out For Love’. It’s a courageous implementation of human performance commonly attempted yet seldomly delivered in long-form dance LP’s less concerned with commercial accolades. Still, it possesses an open-mindedness to such comparisons and so abound with nostalgia, even a cheeky contribution from Bloc Party frontman and subsequent solo dance artist Kele Orekeke bring a smile to the face.
Which is to say nothing of the elements that make up each of the 12 original tracks. Whimsical synthetic arpeggiations evolve organically in a way that take a life of their own, as Fitzpatrick shows meticulous attention to detail in his unique approach to synthesis that would leave even the most seasoned electronic aficionado in a head-scratchingly induced daze, contemplating the very nature of the 1’s and 0’s that birthed each. Here, a strong ‘living’ sentience is embodied by each composition and all of it tied together by a vivid 90’s rave atmosphere only made possible by the obligations of a pupil of the craft who undeniably lived through them.
Although all would be sentiments lost without the combo of the one-two punch of tastefully appropriate engineering. An appreciated absence of heavy-handed compression, over equalization and cramped arrangement give way to incredibly luxurious beds of warbly pads, crisp percussion and excellent FX implementation only made possible by the likes of an industry veteran such as Fitzgerald himself.
What results is an extraordinary manifestation of scrupulous homage to the likes of many genres and eras of dance made possible by the obvious respect paid to not merely recreating, but innovating on concepts of peers past and present alike. A bottomless ‘desert-island album of generous proportions, ‘Machine Therapy’ breaks the silence of a decade with more than enough to chew on for at least another decade more.