If you're familiar with Andy Stott already, then you'll know that the producer spent a large part of last year making music that sounded like being smothered with an extra heavy blanket feels. The songs spread across 2011 releases We Stay Together and Passed Me By were oppressive, thick chunks of sound that crawled and dragged. There wasn't really a single moment of light or really even a moment to catch your breath, which made listening simultaneously compelling and frustrating. Luxury Problems is the sound of Stott unfolding and coming up for air. "Lost and Found" begins as murky as anything else he's done, but as it progresses a beat slowly rises out of that sludgy bass. There's even some unprecedented empty space on title track "Luxury Problems." Credit should also go to vocalist Alison Skidmore, whose voice lends an angelic lightness to the tracks whenever she pops up, even as her singing is bent and cut up to better serve the songs. It's a fascinating album, one worth losing yourself in and coming back to over and over.
October 29, 2012