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This album features in the top ten albums of 2013
Since 2006’s The Idiot’s Are Winning, Border Community stalwart James Holden’s release output has been minimal, though the influence of his work has nonetheless spread. The Inheritors displays a wealth of strong material, which shows Holden still has a capacity to produce inventive and stimulating electronica of the highest order.
There’s a wayward sense of playfulness in Holden’s mixing of unusual musical combinations throughout the record. ‘Seven Stars’ is part muscular trip-hop, part seaside carousel tune, while ‘Sky Burial’ adds splintering knife scrape samples and church organs around a pummelling bit-crushed bass line. The quieter, more introverted retreats within the album’s more dancefloor-ready numbers impress most, with ‘Circle of Fifths’ creating a sensation of physically spinning through disorientating samples in addition to harmonically continuing to fall and fall.
‘Delabole’ and ‘Rannoch Dawn’ see Holden approach a band-like sound, with intriguing results, the latter track drawing an unlikely link between jacking house and driving Krautrock. It is The Inheritors sheer volume of tracks which avoiding generic categorisation recommend it so highly, with eccentric dancefloor bangers like ‘Gone Feral’ and ‘Blackpool Late Eighties’ crystallising the record’s bewildering span of influences into club formats in a way which shows experience and a continued spark.