Tim Exile The Listening Tree

This is some 4G shit, yet at the same time it reaches back to the prehistory of electronics with fascinating results. To the future first: former junglist Exile has achieved a kind of pop music that defies simple meter but avoids the hyper-spazzy inclinations of glitch. Digging into the past, the inspiration for the melodies and changes within the music seem most closely related to baroque composers, especially Bach. Add Exile's vocals, which are a dead ringer for Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, and his sonic tendencies of sour electro pop, drum & bass and neo-rave ingredients and you get a shape shifting stew of beats and textures. The main flaw is that the vocals sound like they're marking the complicated time of their musical underpinnings rather than establishing a true lead presence. However, since this phrasing will be so appealing to '80s goth-tinged new wave fans and well wishers, a large swath of electro pop fans will eat this up. I don't count myself among these fans, but I'm still impressed. (Warp)