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Luke Slater
ALRIGHT ON TOP
(MUTE)

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To those already familiar with UK techno wiz Luke Slater, his latest release will seem to have come out of left field. His two previous Mute albums, Freek Funk and Wireless, were both praised by the electronic underground for abstract, hard-hitting techno made for clubs and not the masses. Alright on Top does a full 180 as Slater teams up with Ricky Barrows, former vocalist for the Aloof, to put together one of the better electro-pop albums in recent memory. Slaterís powerhouse beats and atmospheric synth work in combination with Barrowsís subdued and soulful vocals to create an atmosphere of lust, longing, and desperation. The songs are catchy but not overly so, and emotive without resorting to melodrama. By Slaterís own admission this isnít supposed to be a dance album, but most of these tracks are bound to end up thumping across dance floors around the world. Yet unlike most dance albums, Alright on Top is equally potent as a collection of songs. And Slater maintains a high level of techno energy without programming the same drum loops song after song. Although many might question his motives for this drastic change in direction, itís difficult to argue with the success heís achieved.

BY JOHN LEFLER

Issue Date: June 13 - 20, 2002
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