Andy Stott, Unknown Exception

Lee Smith

By Lee Smith

on 03.18.11 in Reviews
Ominous, lean, minimalist works

Modern Love founder Shlom Svirsi has regularly stated that Claro Intelecto was a key facet in the revival of Modern Love from the mid-2000s onward, and what came to be known as the central circle of "new" Modern Love artists — Andy Stott, MLZ and Pendle Coven — were certainly in close proximity to him both sonically and physically, all living within half an hour or so of Manchester's city center. Stott, who regularly gigs with Stewart and makes no secret of the latter's impact on his work, nonetheless forged his own way with second full-length release, Unknown Exception, a collection of ominous, lean, minimalist works written between 2005 and 2008. Like the looming grey tenements of Manchester's famously rainy outskirts, Stott's bare-bones sound is both bleak and beguiling, incorporating snatches of rasping U.K. garage, grainy techno and overloaded dubstep basslines along the way. Taut enough for the DJs, yet abstract enough to intrigue beyond the club, he was the cleaner, snappier side to labelmates MLZ and Pendle Coven's grittier, more classically-based coin. As it turned out, all three acts converged through the musical genre that was to really send Modern Love's next major phase into new realms; at Modern Love, it seems that everything, in the end, comes back to dub.