Expert Knob Twiddlers album cover
Expert Knob Twiddlers

Richard D. James , Mike Paradinas


This one shouldn’t work but entirely does. Recorded very early in their careers (1994), EKT is Mike Paradinas and Richard James doing a fast and loose take on lounge culture, then ascendant with the Pizzicato Five and Cornelius and Beck. It ends up transcending this supremely Nineties moment (it could be in a Guy Ritchie movie) by leveraging one idea into several. It sounds like they started off each track with a vaguely lounge/exotica sample and built out from there with sequencers and drum machines. It’s bright, but not frantic. The hyper chopping age had not yet set in so our vista here is more or less humanoid. It’s a bit like Mike and Rich’s Oceans Eleventeen, jazzy cheapness and low-res blinks. I especially like the Aphex “enormous flappy marching band bass drum” sound, which he used throughout the Nineties. He loved to swing!

Sasha Frere-Jones

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