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When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence was somewhat of (in my opinion) a sleeper hit of early 2008 released on the lovely Warp Records. The man behind Harmonic 313, Mark Pritchard, has a slew of other aliases and is collaboratively involved in many acts including Harmonic 33, William Parrot, Roberto Edwardo Turner, Link, M. Meecham, Troubleman, N.Y. Connection, however perhaps he’s most known for his work in the ambient/chill-out group Global Communication.

This album flirts with many styles, the focus of which is primarily dubstep and hip-hop, and is influenced by old 8/16-bit videogames (especially notable in track 09, “Cyclotron C64 SID” where he samples from the original Pac Man and other arcade titles). Clocking in at just under an hour, When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence is a decisively bassy and futuristic exploration into dubstep styles tightly knit with a fast-paced hip-hop backbone.

The above song, “Quadrant 3” is the last track in the album, and also perhaps the most approachable. Given Mark Pritchard’s undying love for outerspace (Harmonic 33 itself is named after the frequency produced by planets rotating on their axes), I’d really be curious to know if Alpha Quadrant (in Star Trek lore, the Alpha Quadrant, or Quadrant 3, is known for many beautiful nebulae and other bodies of scientific and personal interest) was the inspiration to this track.

Vocals are ever so sparsely applied throughout the album, specifically in tracks 08 (“Battlestar” featuring Phat Kat & Elzhi) and 13 (“Falling Away with Steve Spacek), the former being an even faster paced rap over heavy drum use, with the latter comprised of a stylistically downtempo beat with soft and clean vocals, which not only serves as a great track to finish off the rest of the album, but it is a testament to Mark Pritchard’s ability to elegantly transverse through many genres and styles within electronic-oriented music. This album: contents under pressure. Recommended.

For more information, check out:

Last.fm

Discogs

MySpace

Support the artist, buy this at:

Bleep

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Download.

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