Boomkat Product Review:
Alex Zhang Hungtai lends proper ‘80s noir sax to Tony Price’s superb album of ‘80s electro and thriller synth themes on L.I.E.S.
‘IBM Contra’ is the best yet by Tony Price, the prolific Toronto label boss behind Maximum Exposure and producer behind four slick albums, plus busy studio engineer in home city and beyond. Effectively his definitive opus, ‘IBM Contra’ oscillates infectious electro and deep house-adjacent styles with properly realised beatless synth/jazz parts starring Dean Hurley collaborator Alex Zhang Hungtai, and Colin Fisher, that don’t feel like the usual, tacked-on interludes, but proper pieces in their own right that really emphasise and temper the album’s gripping narrative qualities.
Working somewhere in the shadows of David Kristian’s Canadian synth works, Cronenberg or Michael Mann soundtracks, and pulpier noir forms, the 14 tracks buckle up a thrilling, highly stylish ride from the the furtive intro ‘Empire’ to the panoramic peal of Hungtai’s sax on ‘Room 641A’, clocking up killer bits of Gesloten Cirkel or DJ Overdose-like electro on ’Tempest’ and the title tune, plus delectable deep electro-house in ‘Info’, and a ruthless variant of ghetto-tech scud and free-jazz heat in ‘CCTV’.
Bang on the dark and $£X¥ money, this one.