Alek Stark – Blueshifted People

4 out of 5

Label: Central Processing Unit

Produced by: Alek Stark?

Yet another essential, instantly affecting release from CPU, a mini slab of IDM’d club shakers.  Alek Stark does a big beat thing, letting his hook build in volume and flourish over the course of any given track, erring toward dance-ability but with slightly different veneers.  Opener IC 3258 is a perfect warmup, the most robotic of the EPs five tracks, with a distorted vocal blip that gives the track a kooky edge as its bits and pieces continue to align over five minutes.  The followup is the out-and-out star of the release: GC 4406 has a Windowlicker-era cut-and-paste quickness to it that’s still somehow grounded by a backbone beat, and it is delightful; guaranteed to make you dance EVEN IF YOU DON’T DANCE.  Tracks 3 and 4 are quality, if somewhat incidental; beats that Stark stumbled in to on his way to bigger and better.  They kick the ass of the majority of what’s out there (…that’s not on CPU, that is), they just lack the extra oomph of the bookending tracks.  Such as the concluding NGC 4192 which ups the momentum and intensity of its beat and carries us through to a rousing conclusion.