The tenth release from Dresden’s Uncanny Valley collective feels like a nice summation of the label’s work to date. Roughly it’s deep house, but deep house that bites its thumb at anything too customary. “Kill Bill$,” for example, swaggers along with what sounds like a massive pair of scissors repeatedly opening and closing. (It’s groovy, promise.) They glisten brightly against the more muddled chug of the bottom-end and make for something nicely unsettling. Steve Kasper’s “Unvexed Dub,” meanwhile, actually sounds quite vexed, mutating restlessly through a number of states from deep and airy to stoned and dubwise with some freewheeling harmonics sandwiched somewhere in the middle.

A grumbling 303 forms the backbone of “S51,” with trilling keys and pixelated synths crashing in ever-increasing waves. Unexpected is the voice that repeats “I’m sure you’ll find this amusing, but I’m afraid of the dark,” and so is the presence of such bright and optimistic melodies despite the devilish acid bubbles below. The surprises don’t end there, though, because who’d have thought C-Beams member Sandrow M’s mysterious and radiant deep house groove “The Three Tress” would sound so good with a fractured garage vocal somewhere up top? Not me, but that’s what Uncanny Valley do best—familiar things in unfamiliar ways.

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