Carl Taylor: True Faith
EPM Music

Listening to True Faith, I find myself repeatedly returning to a comment Carl Taylor himself made regarding the album's production: “Each track took no longer than three hours to make, all sequenced on the MPC with arrangements created live to keep analysis to a minimum.” Taylor believes that overthinking can suck the life out of a production, with too much refinement draining emotion and spontaneity from the material in question. It's not so much the three-hour detail that's striking, given that digital production methods obviously allow for a rapid production process for those so inclined, but that the tracks sound so meticulously arranged and compositionally structured—surely Taylor must have had sketches for the tracks worked out before flipping on his machines?

No matter: on his second album, the South Yorkshire DJ (twelve years and counting) and techno producer has spun out of thin air ten sleek and sparkling cuts that ooze personality and soul. A veteran of labels such as Bugged Out, F-Comm, Dust Science, Advanced, and F1 Recordings, Taylor brings no shortage of experience to the work captured on True Faith, a fifty-two-minute set that couples previously unreleased tracks with recent singles like “Perplexer,” “Violet,” and “Only U.” The tougher warehouse vibe in Taylor's music comes through in raw cuts like “Onyx” and “Perplexer” where beats slam and chatter with relentless purpose and swarms of surging chords hit with metallic force. Born for the club, “Orbit” is an epic raver in the best sense of the word and a bonafide mind-melter to boot, while “Violet” showcases his gift for melody without any compromise to the tune's dancefloor potential. Throughout the album, warm synth textures, radiant melodies, and funk-inflected techno rhythms elevate Taylor's material, giving it an effervescence and buoyancy that lends it immediate appeal and accessibility. All praise to Taylor for being able to reach a level of polish in tracks that sound anything but unfinished, while at the same time imbuing them with the real-time spark of passion and energy. Listening to True Faith is like some sugar-rush minus the morning-after tooth-ache.

January 2012