The Fear Ratio: They Can’t Be Saved (Skam, 2020)

May 18, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Fear Ratio: They Can’t Be Saved

British techno stalwarts James Ruskin and Mark Broom have been producing more broken, abstract material as The Fear Ratio for a decade now, on Ruskin’s Blueprint label as well as Manchester’s god-tier Skam. Their third album simply has all the hallmarks of classic Skam — precise, fractured rhythms, suspenseful melodies, darkness, playfulness. It’s also the type of IDM that’s danceable and not overwhelmingly dense, there’s still enough space so that you can appreciate all the details. After the sort of DJ friendly first batch of tracks, there’s a much more haunted, minimal track (“The Curse”) which is followed by the rubbery, kinetic “LM3”. The next couple tracks are closer to Skam-ified hip-hop, a heavy bounce riddled with glitches and slivered vocals. It all seems to dissemble and dissolve with the fluttering bass wash of “A406”.

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