“Passed Me By / We Stay Together”
Deluxe gatefold oversized Digipak including two CD’s featuring the “Passed Me By” and “We Stay Together” albums in full, plus 25 minutes of bonus material Andy Stott entered a compelling new phase of evolution on ‘Passed Me By’, inverting the energy of his Juke and Technoid hardcore excursions into something more brooding and subtly visceral. Folding in a wider palette of influences from Kassem Mosse to Arthur Russell, to Actress and James Ferraro, ‘New Ground’ opens the set proper and we’re dominated by bone crushing bass weight, pinned under relentless waves of subbass whilst shards of hypnagogic exhalations struggle for air in his autoerotic pressure system. That slow, vice-turning intensity is breathlessly transferred to the aquatic swing jack of ‘North To South’, before the gasping Linn drums and glazed boogie licks of ‘Intermittent’ offer halfway resolution. Their pent up tension is released in ‘Dark Details’, suggesting a lonely silhouette left in the warehouse after the crowd has gone, dancing like the Moving Shadow logo come to life before the screwed zombie swagger of ‘Execution’ and that staggering title track slowly shuts down your system with shark-eyed intent. ‘We Stay Together’ followed some months later, amping the pressure to throttling degrees. Entering the digital compression chamber of ‘Submission’ you become a willing participant, before the lights are cut and you’re forced to adjust to the humid atmosphere and bruising, muscle-contracting darkroom throb of ‘Posers’. Suitably initiated, the EP’s fearless centrepiece ‘Bad Wires’ plunges into full on mud-party mode, dropping the tempo while intensifying the kinaesthetic funk with slow, clusterf*cked syncopation until you’re drowning in crushed-glass textures. Fully submerged by ‘We Stay Together (Part One)’ time becomes elasticated like worn VHS tape, calling to mind Jamal Moss soundtracking a rave in a sodden, flooded sauna, before inescapably tumbling into the sheer black hole of ‘Cherry Eye’ and left to the slompy jack of ‘Cracked’. The 25 minutes of extra material is split over four tracks, from the crushed mobile phone re-wiring of “Work Gate” to the skeletal R&B-mining “Stitch House” all the way to the engrossing, light-filled beauty of closing track "We Stay Togethr(Part Two).