Nathan Fake – Steam Days
For an artist whose first album cradled one of techno’s most evocative slow-burners to date, anything that follows is always going to be held up in comparison. With his second album neatly escaping that trap by darting towards the dancefloor, his trick with the third has been to take a step backwards into his own mind, traversing nocturnal landscapes and documenting 'everything that’s gone on in [his] head for the past two years.'
It’s a beautiful journey, floating through synaesthetic soundscapes of otherworldly nostalgia and longing. But while it’s buoyed by a techno pulse that suggests the club is still a tempting memory, this is the balm, not the follow up, to the short thud of 2009's Hard Islands. As it works its way through disconcertingly emotional moments – the intense requiem of Rue, or the Aphex-esque schizophrenia of World Of Spectrum – it’s clear that Fake’s mind has chambers even he was surprised to discover. [Rosie Davies]