The Inheritors is one of those records that totally catches you off guard. If you're familiar with James Holden back catalog you just might be even more surprised. The initial burst of synthesized drone that kicks off "Rannoch Dawn" lets you know that you're in for something different. The Inheritors captures an artist who is in the midst of exploring new territory. For someone who's previous incarnation was that of teenage trance wunderkind that had the opportunity to remix Britney Spears, this album is at least somewhat if not wholly unexpected. In fact it's quite a gratifying listen. Holden has managed to shake off nearly any trace of the progressive trance that he built his name with. Instead he's traded in the rolling rhythms for a healthy dose of krautrock inspired modular synth wrangling. There's traces of Cluster, Popol Vuh and their ilk mixed with the pastoral qualities of Boards Of Canada. However, where the Scottish duo wash over the listener with lush synth pads, Holden takes a more aggressive approach. It's as if his synthesizer is on the brink of collapse and he's doing all that he can to hold it together. At times the cacophony reaches a fever pitch, but Holden knows how to bring it all back down to earth. And this is all for the better. Who needs the predictability that is the pratfall of so much of today's electronic music when chaos can sound this good. Recommended.
- music label: Border Community 2013