James Holden – The Inheritors

Album Review by Bram E. Gieben | 03 Jun 2013
  • James Holden – The Inheritors
Album title: The Inheritors
Artist: James Holden
Label: Border Community
Release date: 17 Jun

Having previously pushed the boundaries of techno on his 2006 debut, James Holden's long-awaited sophomore album delves even deeper into the rhythmic roots of the genre, employing guitars, live percussion, a host of analogue synths and some involving studio trickery to create a statement on dance music which acknowledges the roots of the form while pushing fearlessly on into new territory.

Opener Rannoch Dawn rejoices in a scuzzy Krautrock atmosphere, recalling Can and NEU with its stripped-down drums, feedback and guitar textures. Elsewhere, A Circle Inside A Circle takes cues from experimental synth soundtracks, sounding like an out-take from Popol Vuh's score for Aguirre, Wrath of God. The Caterpillar's Invention, loaded with pulsing, saxophones, builds towards an explosive jazz fusion climax. Impressive title track The Inheritors sounds like John Carpenter playing synth at a warehouse rave. While perhaps not what Holden fans were looking for or expecting, it's an impressive, intricate meditation on the weirder corners of electronic music's history.