The Manchester techno producer Andy Stott is known for making electronic music on the edge of sanity; guttural and slightly demonic compositions suffocated by warbling bass. On his second album he incorporated the evocative vocals of his friend, Alison Skidmore, to breathe life into his gloomy soundscapes, but his work remained punishing, stark and austere.
So with that reputation preceding him, nothing could quite prepare us for the sheer beauty and delicacy of the second single off his new album, the self-titled ‘Faith in Strangers’. Hinting at the early pastoral compositions of Aphex Twin or Rounds¬¬–era Four Tet, the skittish drums allow the keyboards to slowly unfurl with the ease of a loosed kite as Alison Skidmore’s wispy vocals traverse the soft and ambient space Stott creates. As much a progression as it is about-turn, Stott shows that behind his imposing edifice, there is a quiet soul.