Radio Slave Feel The Same Rekids
Matt Edwards has always straddled the various outcrops of dance music. He’s as known for running the headsy Rekids label as for mashing up New Order and Kylie Minogue with the cheesy smash Can’t Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head. His early gigs were at Aberystwyth Football Club as well as London’s Milk Bar, and in the 90s he frequented the muddy Welsh countryside as much as the spongey dancefloors of the Ministry Of Sound.
The picture painted is a man unconcerned with cool, or at least with a single notion of it. Over the years and monikers, he’s tossed out oddball pop, cheesy electro, agitated funk, moody ambience, wiggy disco and mechanical house tools. One thing he hadn’t released until now was an album as Radio Slave.
The result is suitably eclectic, but there are threads that run through the record. An atmospheric intro in Second Home hisses and splutters with a definite sci-fi feel, echoes of which appear in the ghostly siren of Feel The Same and among the acid breaks of Geisterstadt. There’s also a general moodiness that’s most apparent with the glittery chants wrapped up in Forana or the excellent centrepiece Axis – a muted roller transformed to smoky trance with rushes of flighty strings.
Most apparent is a nod to rave. Album standouts Trans – a murky horror-score roller with smokiness counterbalanced by a mantra of “transparency” – and With You, which is loose downtempo jungle threaded with Detroit melancholy. At 81 minutes, the album begins to drag and some of the weaker tracks perhaps shouldn’t have made the final cut. That said, with Feel The Same there’s a discernible sense of a true veteran flexing his muscles.