Slap [unmodified]: Auto [repeat]
Architecture of Sound

Slap [unmodified]'s Auto [repeat] single arrives in two equally enticing formats: on 7-inch vinyl and 3-inch CD (a limited edition, digitized version that includes two extra tracks), both housed in a beautiful, matte-finish colour sleeve. The single is a very sleek bit of business indeed by Canadian producer Thomas Sinclair, also known as one-half of electro-pop outfit Black Turtleneck (Solvent's the other) which issued last year's solid Musical Chairs album.

Thomas declares his Slap [unmodified] music to be “(e)ffervescent synthesizer music for freaks and geeks” so you know upfront it'll be in that delicious electro synth-pop vein that Solvent and Lowfish traffic in so splendidly. The A side's “Auto-repeat (version 2)” doesn't disappoint in that regard. Pulsating and sleek, the tune combines hard-hitting drum machine beats with hammering synth patterns and an elegantly dark central theme—all that, plus a late-inning vocal by Sinclair that's both smooth and epic. The quality level doesn't drop in the other tracks, either, all of them packed with gleaming synthesizer melodies and punchy beats. The pristine production style allows every sound to jump out with crystalline clarity, and Sinclair boosts the material even more with razor-sharp edits that, in a few well-chosen moments, slice the voice and drums into neat little bits. Solvent devotees in particular and synth-pop aficionados in general would do themselves a grave disservice if they didn't snap up this classy little number immediately.

August 2007