Strategy Future Rock

Attention to detail is important when it comes to most jobs, but when you’re an obsessive musician with a whole lot of gear and an ear for perfection it can certainly get the best of you, hence the wait for Paul Dickow’s (aka Strategy) third full-length. And it’s not as if he hasn’t been busy; he co-directs the Community Library label, as well as Archigramophone, and has remixed the likes of the Blow and the DFA. However, the meticulous crafting of Future Rock stands out from the multi-layered opening of "Can’t Roll Back,” a blissed-out balancing act of faint funk that throws the unruly instrumentation at you with a carefully executed ambient texture in place. "Running On Empty” takes a similar approach with much more of a down-tempo result, and "Stops Spinning” settles for an ambient/dub amalgam. "Phantom Powered” demonstrates his stronger suit, brewing a bubbly pot of squelching acid and pouring it on top of a steady slab of Krautrock, while "Red Screen” does a fine job building a wall of shimmering drone that introduces another exciting avenue. Dickow likes variety and there’s more than enough here to dutifully represent the album’s bold title. As a whole, however, Future Rock suffers from an identity crisis that reveals strengths Strategy should pursue to avoid such a distracting mishmash in the, um, future. (Kranky)