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Klute The Emperor's New Clothes

Tom Withers must be damn near the most prolific drum & bass artist in the United Kingdom. When not releasing inspired and imaginative double albums (Emperor is his third since 2003), he creates a forum for similarly punk-and techno-informed artists like Amit and Break on his Commercial Suicide label, and writes b-sides like "Most People Are Dicks" in the meantime. A degree of misanthropy may drive this busybody, whose voice is vital in more than one scene. "Learning Curve" seems to slow and alter a riff from the defunct, bad-ass band Refused, where its flipside, "Hell Hath No Fury," is nine minutes of sun and glitter. Breakbeat and downtempo tracks share space with songs like "Come Back 2 Me," as deep and emotional as a drum & bass tune can get. Withers' restlessness has produced another long-player of staggering diversity. It's not necessarily to be swallowed whole, but there's something here for everyone to chew on.

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