EP review by KevW
With a remit of making "maybe spacey future old-skool music with no boundaries", the mysterious Human Machine have set themselves a slightly paradoxical task. "Old-skool" implies boundaries and "spacey-future" implies that they could head anywhere their minds and equipment will allow them. But if you give their debut EP 'Twice Upon A Time' a spin it all makes sense. Their songs are built using old-skool beats and samples and will be a hit with people whose tastes incorporate that fruitful period in the late 80s when M/A/R/R/S scored a number one hit and Del La Soul were pushing the boundaries of hip-hop well beyond anywhere they'd been before. At the same time the EP sounds like a reevaluation, not a recreation. They even remix bloody Diplo to make sure we know it's completely 'now' (this one's free on the bandcamp link below).
Samples and old-fashioned production are used to create many of these sounds, but you won't find a rap in sight, it's more an exploration of beats brought up to date, like The Go! Team without the excessively party-time aspect. 'Ching Ching' allows itself to experiment without drifting too far away from being a pop song, and 'Get Rough' takes over from where Avalanches left off, cutting up big beats and samples. The most fun, and therefore probably the most likely shot at a hit, is 'My New Compura a tat tat tat (VIP)' which employs a sunny pop melody and has 'summer hit' written all over it (possibly bad timing then...). 'Take My Hand' is being pushed as the lead track and the reason is probably due to it having the most current sound and a powerful soulful vocal, yet the others are more fun and there should be no shame in that. It's old-skool techniques alright, but the overall sound is a pretty modern one.
Human Machine's website
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