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andrea (andy stott) - Retail Juke / Write-Off
*Brilliant Juke experiments from Andy Stott - now available again* After a bit of a pause, Andrea returns with an invigorated sense of funk and a bad case of scuffed shelltoes. A generation after Chicago House irreversibly infected the Northern club scene, Andrea soaks up and sweats out the latest footworking Chi-town developments with a distinctive melodic flourish and innate feel for the floor. 'Retail Juke' keenly latches on to that feeling of delirious suspension that marks the best productions from RP Boo, Roc, Nate or any of those agile young cats, matching their flighty rhythm programming toe-for-toe, while tweaking the vibes with a fine-cut pop sensibility. It opens up with an impatient metronome and sparkling Rhodes keys ushering in spasmodic sample edits and unregimented drums, honing that slow-fast thing that's impossible to describe and so bizarrely effective. On the flip, 'Write-Off' sounds like an Ice Cream van taking a wrong turning and ending up wheel-deep in some hyperrealist dayglo forest without SatNav or a working sense of direction to hand. It finds that filigree balance of tension between rapid-fire sample textures, twinkling melodies and dragging bass undulations, keeping an implosive, centripetal sense of funk deep in the pocket and yet still quite melancholy in its own fidgety way. Highly recommended.