Alex Smoke Paradolia

Alex Smoke Paradolia
Paradolia is Glaswegian producer Alex Smoke’s second album in as many years. This time round, he’s moved further away from the minimalism of 2005’s Incommunicado, toward more complex drum programming. It’s a wise move, one that brings him closer in spirit to the hybrid dance-for-listening terrain that Isolée was exploring on last year’s excellent We Are Monster. Smoke has the same innate talent as Rajko Müller for drawing emotional subtleties from his laptop without sounding heavy-handed or obvious. Rather, tracks like "Persona” and "Make My Day” rarely feel as though they’re repeating themselves over the course of this 70-minute-plus album. To keep the monotony from setting in, a handful of the productions here feature textured vocals. But Smoke’s main ingenuity comes from his handling of rhythm, and his fearless mining of mood. Paradolia is the calling card of a very talented producer, one who will impress techno purists and electronic browsers alike. (Soma)