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  • Filed under: Review
  • 01/10/2012

Lego Feet SKA001CD

Years prior to their debut album and long before the seminal LP5 made its indelible mark on the electronic-music landscape, IDM demigods Sean Booth and Rob Brown (a.k.a. Autechre) released a lengthy record of experimental, acid-influenced tunes under the name Lego Feet. The self-titled 12" first appeared in 1991 as the inaugural release from UK imprint Skam, and has since been described as "the holy grail of electronica" after having gone out of print, with original pressings selling for around $300. Following its twentieth anniversary last year, Lego Feet has been re-issued on CD—a vinyl re-release is also on its way—with never-before-heard bonus tracks, the timing of which seems both advantageous and appropriate. The recent rise of acid's influence on contemporary club music is reason enough to revisit this classic "lost" album, so much so that being able to own a physical copy of Lego Feet's sole release—with extra tunes, no less—seems only like the icing on the cake.

Even if you're not an Autechre superfan looking to complete your career-spanning record collection, the hour-plus offering of proto-IDM on Lego Feet has aged surprisingly well. The tracks themselves are split into four unmarked and untitled sections, each about 20 minutes in length. It's almost like the duo created a handful of haphazard DJ sets of its own productions, or, more likely, simply wasn't interested in making things easy or accessible for listeners hoping to exercise the use of a skip button. Thankfully, the urge almost never arrives.

SKA001CD exhibits styles that range from skittering breakbeats laced with acid basslines to runs of gnarled samples and blippy 8-bit synths, all of which sound akin to tracks like "Basscadet" and "Maetl" from Incunabula, albeit with a harder edge. Only rarely do any of the 17 or so productions start to grate on your senses or eschew traditional time signatures, and those moments are nonetheless welcome seedlings of what would become some of Autechre's best work. Still, Lego Feet's record is likely the most dancefloor-appropriate release ever put forth by Booth and Brown, and is certainly worthy of its mythical status, not to mention a place in the regular rotation of any fan of forward-thinking electronic music.

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