Scales of Magnification
After nearly eight years (Dr.) Jake Mandell is back with probably his most accessible recording in a decade plus. It’s upbeat, almost bouncy – especially on tracks like Pan Culture Workup and China Patterns, which have hooks that sorta sneer slightly at the advent of dubstep without the trappings. Scales of Magnification is an intensified revision of his previous work on Love Songs for Machines with edgier pop twists and quirks aplenty. Part old school Autechre on the risk-it-all Cord Blood where the intensity of the bpms obliterate the balance of idm, but pack a punch nonetheless. There is some filler strewn about (No Free Air, Central Line), but then you have a nearly classic dance track like A Good Bounce which creeps up on you infectiously, like a full-on, sweaty pingpong match. There are dense bass tones, heavyweight at times – but Mandell manages to keep things quite animated, filled with glittering smarts throughout. Seventeen tracks in all which emerge and retreat not unlike a trance-inducing slithering snakedance.