Christopher Just Roland Flick Fairmont Princess #1527

Packed with a press release that reads like an apology for the artist’s decade long foray into techno and drug-fuelled debauchery, Roland Flick Fairmont Princess #1527 is a strange little album. This entirely electronic, instrumental offering begins with a sombre disappointing track, but then immediately picks up, offering listeners some lighter more upbeat and rhythmically-fuelled fair. From there it is all over the electronic map serving up everything from groovy upbeat cuts full of blips and electronic-sounding record scratches, to toned down techno/rave-inspired fare, and even some dirty electro. Most of the songs are marked with a lot of repetition and limited variation. The standout tracks are the ones that dare to break form, notably "Moira’s Theme,” a drumbeat-backed number with a sad melody juxtaposed overtop, and "The Church,” a much needed ambient excursion on this disc full of beats. The complex uplifting "Popper” and the quieter, more refined "Room” are also highlights. It’s easy to see where Just draws his influences from on this disc, and the cuts that work best are the ones where he makes those influences his own as opposed to repeating the trusted and true electronic stereotypes. With the great variety of styles he tackles across the 13 tracks included on Roland Flick Fairmont Princess #1527, there’s a little something for almost any fan of the style; unfortunately, the overall lack of musical cohesion on the album keeps it from being one that’s repeatedly listenable from beginning to end. (Combination)