Objekt Flatland PAN
A new Aphex Twin album is always a reason to celebrate, but while his gloopy, restless IDM will always be worthy of our attention, it is striking how dated some of his new material now sounds, especially placed next to current innovators such as Objekt. Alongside other cauldrons of creativity like Livity Sound and the Hessle Audio crew, Objekt makes withering, pounding but eerily synthetic techno, and is at his best when grabbing the bull firmly by both horns. Ratchet and Strays – two of the album’s highlights – are stone-cold Molotov cocktails, and no-one is making more visceral club music than this right now. Dogma is a dubbed-out, subterranean saunter, and Second Witness stumbles along like a tipsy android uncle, never quite losing its balance. Elsewhere, Objekt offers the kind of dystopian, panoramic perspectives that his label-mate Lee Gamble has made his own. But while the breadth of material is welcome, and the uneasy audio atmosphere is cleverly cultivated, the album as a whole doesn’t quite scale the heights his best singles have reached. We’re left wishing, petulantly, for more bangers. Is that so wrong?