Demonstrating considerable growth since releasing his previous pair of EPs, Benny Loco covers a surprising stylistic and emotional range on Rise. The title cut is like a cross between the soundtrack to a John Carpenter movie and Dead Ringer-era RJD2, with Loco mixing thick analog synth lines and crisp percussion sequencing. The textures are more cohesive here than on his past outings, and the album moves fluidly from track to track — more of a unified whole than a compilation. Although the frenetic music-box-time-warp of "Pay Dues Forever" might run a little long, its inherent anxiety is balanced by the pastoral-flashback-sequence acoustics of "Once." And while more traditional head-nodders like "Nibiru" keep the record bobbing along, cinematic musings such as "Void" are the true gems. This record is a real sonic journey.
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