Rating: 6.5 / Format: CD/LP / Label: Border Community

Rejecting the introversion of his debut Drowning in a Sea of Love, Fake here presents a record you can really dance to. Opening track ‘The Turtle’ lays guttural bleeps over a throbbing techno pulse, building to a euphoric, sky-scraping crescendo. That sense of euphoria is carried over into ‘Basic Mountain’ as Fake teases with build after build, never allowing the beat to take charge – clever, yes, but ultimately unsatisfying.

The nine-minute ‘Castle Rising’ introduces a more chilled-out register, only to glitch it up in a similar style to the more accessible Analord 12"s. Closer ‘Fentiger’ is gratifyingly epic – a kinetic aggregate of sweet synths and loops that climaxes in a moment of genuine hands in the air beauty; other tracks are too short and too self-conscious to be even nearly as memorable. Hard Islands re-establishes the fact that Fake is talented – now let’s see him make a really good album.

Jeremy Parkinson

Nathan Fake homepage

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