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Hexstatic - When Robots Go Bad

Hexstatic, When Robots Turn Bad

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

HEXSTATIC duo Robin Brunson and Stuart Warren-Hill return with When Robots Go Bad, an album that indulges their passion for all things electro.

Having developed a reputation for making some of the craziest audio and visual productions and staging spectacular shows around the world, Hexstatic have been spending time in the recording studio mashing up sounds and influences in search of the ultimate machine groove.

First track Red Laser Beam sets the template early on and forms one of the early highlights – unfolding amid a heady mix of crunching guitar samples, huge drum box beats and synths running amok.

But then it slows down a little with former single Roll Over, featuring the alluring vocals of new find Sabirajade. Unlike its predecessor, this offers a swinging groove of heavily-layered keyboards and soulful, sultry vocals that give off a distinctly Goldfrapp kind of vibe.

The upbeat tempo is restored, however, for Tokyo Traffic, an acidic, glitch-heavy workout that fits the “future-retro” bill. Sadly, it’s the first of several average offerings.

Freak Me thankfully restores the quality temporarily, again featuring another set of take-notice vocals from another female singer, this time B+, a sassy MC from Oz who effortlessly rides a more minimalist, sexy, funky riff. The result is one of the funkiest cuts on the long-player.

Prom Night Party re-works a classic lost track from Mike Ladd’s Majesticons project and ultimately underwhelms but the deeply mellow ode to love TLC allows the dancers among you to catch your breath as things come over all chilled. It’s another highlight.

Thereafter, the blend of futuristic funk and electro mesh-ups begins to get a little tiresome. Both Move On (featuring Edinburgh MC Profisee) and A Different Place (with B+) don’t really do anything special.

While Subway finds Profisee offering a tired paen to underground music inspired by the forced fears of a nation.

The album rallies for final track Bust, which owes a lot to Daft Punk in places, but by then the indifference has set in. It’s a shame given the early promise of the first few tracks.

But I guess that’s what happens when robots – aka electronics – turn bad?

Download picks: Red Laser Beam, Roll Over, Tokyo Traffic, Freak Me, TLC, Bust

Track listing:

  1. Red Laser Beam
  2. Roll Over-Feat. Sabirajade
  3. Tokyo Traffic
  4. Freak Me-Feat. B+
  5. Prom Night Party [Hexstatic Remix]
  6. TLC
  7. Move On-Feat. Profisee & Ema J
  8. A Different Place-Feat. B+
  9. Subway-Feat. Profisee
  10. Lab Rat Interlude
  11. Newton’s Cradle
  12. Newaves
  13. Bust