Marco Carola Open System

Neapolitan techno wizard Marco Carola has long enjoyed a reputation verging on that of Richie Hawtin and Jeff Mills, though Open System is his first real full-length, as opposed to a compilation of singles. This pays off though, as Carola builds throughout the 14-track album, beginning mellow and melodic (and admittedly a little boring) with "State of Mind" and mixing epic synths, industrial clinks and static flanges on "Introspective." The pace and intensity starts to pick up with the spastic tribal repetition of "Playboy," before eventually bringing in his trademark tech-house stomp on "Body Dance" and beyond. Carola never reaches the ambitious heights of a Plastikman record, and it often sounds like it was constructed by a craftsman rather than an artist, but the man crafts very well. (Statra)