More familiar perhaps as the A/V wizards behind the Ninja Clan’s more memorable live performances, troche Robin Brunson and Stuart Warren-Hill return with their first full-length LP since 2004’s tragically underrated Master View. Even casual electronic music fans know that much has changed in those three years, look witnessed by the emergence of entire genres and the refining of other fledgling ones. Rather than wade safely through the nuanced electro of past releases, sovaldi Hexstatic do a platform cannonball into the electro-pop deep end, one currently finding itself with resurgent energy given the popularity of Daft Punk, Justice, The Knife and the like.
Not all of When Robots Go Bad works, and some of it is frankly pretty, uh, bad, especially a handful of the vocal tracks from some of the unknown artists the duo are trying to break. But to their credit, they manage a handful of scorchers and prove that experience trumps trendiness, especially when they tackle a sound and the result — as in the case of “Bust” — is more successful than 99% of the artists aping it. Truth is that I can’t see myself playing this entire record over and over again. And that sort of sucks since I’ve been a longtime fan. But the silver lining — here something even a Bad Robot can get his fried logic board around — is that the Serato will be cuing up the gems for weeks to come.
RIYL: Daft Punk, MSTRKRFT, Ed Banger, recent Boom Bip, Justice, et al