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Andy Stott Faith In Strangers Modern Love

Faith In Strangers is the sound of Andy Stott cutting loose. The lumbering sludge that characterised the Manchester producer’s previous work has been jettisoned in favour of confident blasts of sound split by acres of loaded, vital space. Machines worked to their limits, melodies pushed to the point of (heart)breaking. And above it all there is voice. Alison Skidmore’s vocals alternate between whisper and soar, but with all the more clarity compared to the chopped and submerged methods with which Stott approached them on 2012’s triumphant Luxury Problems. Nothing scraped against everything, the resulting friction captured and arranged. Having earlier this year diverged skilfully with the disarming breaks affair Drop The Vowels with his collaborative Millie & Andrea project, this is a peerless artist dominating his home space. It is astoundingly effective. There’s a beauty to be found in ugliness, and Stott has found its roots on Faith In Strangers.