Those left wheezing by his house and techno knock-outs will be grateful for Mr. G unexpectedly taking his foot off the gas. It’s a puzzle as to why Colin McBean decides that after three-quarters of an album spent knocking the life out of the dance floor, he resists going the whole hog and eases up with the finish line in sight. Homing in on its target and mixing up the weight of his drums for a devastating cross section, the hit-list runs tribally (“One Year Later”), chunkily (“Clearing Space”), ruthlessly (“Pumped Up” finds an extra yard, even after only four tracks), authentically (flashback “Dark Thoughts”), and with a bold disco accelerator (the clipped “Absurd Beatz No.4”).
As techno royalty he’s within his rights, but after “Pause 4 Thought With You” connects with a spoken word, lazily punned monologue, the remainder is conspicuous by its surprise element, and then as a sequence bringing an unscheduled end to the partying. The empty “Bill’s January Blues” puts up a sudden guard, and the basking, even more contradictory “New Life” rolls over to have its belly tickled. In fairness, there’s a similar downtempo conclusion to G’s previous Still Here LP. But despite the best efforts of “Mango Came Round” to retrieve the situation, its mutedness says a lot. Senty-five percent of State of Flux is pretty exhilarating, and if you’re a playlist shuffler or compiler, you’ll know where to head first.
File under: Tommy Atkins, Halcyon Daze, The Advent