Album Review: Paul Mac / ‘Hotel Insomnia’ (EPM)


In no mood to start spinning lullabies to the sleep-deprived but an indicator of the check-in/check-out routine of the global spinner, UK veteran Paul Souter aims to peel off motel wallpaper with a fifth album of techno and tech-house damage. Using the hotel room as studio sounding board, Hotel Insomnia dives headfirst into everything; not going as far as backing a back-to-basics approach, but with a certain “Strings of Life” zing to “Old,” Mac is under the tuition that if there’s a beat to get into and a floor to wipe opposition with, get on with it and stop waiting for things to happen. “Driven Points” is a great example, urged on by wicked bassline propulsion, while a mirror image philosophy goes for the somewhat abrupt exits some tracks make.

Occasionally meandering into the fruitless, the semi-scientific “Disc Electronique” is sparklingly spacious or spotlessly empty, and “Kinda Dubby” is bit too straight-up-and-down. Regardless, Mac is always busy, overlapping with layers mouse-clicked through a techno revolving door, always in control, and despite being an aggressor of significant might, always hard but fair. “More Disco” and tumble-dryer/punisher “Sketched Up” love dark alleys and bumping into people therein, and “Never Ending” rides the night train to delight all midnight metro commuters as it shakes and shanks from side to side; all proof of the album’s grit and graft.

File under: Ben Sims, Mark Broom, Sou Tai