A number of years ago I received a promo CD from a mysterious UK producer Andy Stott called Unknown Exception.

Although the album skirted a moody UK dubsteppy vibe, it also had a gorgegously melodic ambient element that immediately set Stott apart from artists like Burial and made me wonder, “Where is this guy from? And where is he going?” My favorite moment on that record was a track called, “Long Drive” which in so many ways is the answer to both those questions.

After a string of very good, but very dark, sullen EPs I wondered how the remarkably talented Stott would find his audience.

The answer to that is a stunning brand new release called, “Luxury Problems”. (Which is a late contender for Electronic Album of the Year in a year of unbelievable Electronic Album releases.)

By enlisting an equally talented female vocalist (Alison Skidmore) to the mix, he’s softened his generally brooding tone and given his productions an air of sensuality that is reminiscent of the golden age of trip-hop.

Not to say that this is an update to trip-hop, but it affords him an accessibility and depth of field that gives his sonics a previously unexplored range.

andy stott – luxury problems (album preview) by experimedia

The thing as a whole is a serious listen that offers up an excellent sonic/emotional experience, particularly on headphones. One listen to “Sleepless” and I assure you, you will want to go on whatever journey Stott is taking us on from this point forward.

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