Slicker: The Latest (June 2001) The third Slicker release dovetails Hughes' obsession with textural techno and breakbeats. Utilizing various loop and sampling strategies -- like pairing vocal samples (courtesy of Asia Argento; yes, her dad's the horror film director), looped around three drum machines and threaded through a keyboard playing one endless chord slipping in an out of an airy mix on ‘Hard Track’ -- Hughes walks a line between machine-like precision and warm musicality. In utilizing musicians such as guitarist Takeshi Mitsuhashi and pianist Christopher Case on ‘Open Huru,’ Hughes leaves a bit more to chance than on his previous outings. Allowing individual expression in a mix project is risky, but the results are more than worth it. That's the vibe of the entire album, each cut feels as if it's a prelude to something else, something grander coming down the pipe. But there's no frustration since upon deeper listening the grandeur is contained within these densely packed loops and rhythm tracks that insinuate themselves slowly and subtly over the listener in a manner that suggests aural seduction. Well done.
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