Electro-purists

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Unlikely heroes of Detroit's booty deejays, local electro purists Aux 88 -- Tom Hamilton and DJ Dijital -- have caught on that their roots-of-techno electro sound is the "tech" to booty's "ghetto" in the current Detroit bass scene. To that end, Hamilton favors faster tracks, more complex rhythms, even more up-in-the-club-styled vocals on Xeo-Genetic, Aux's follow-up to 1996's Is It Man Or Machine?. The results are mixed. Machine? was more purist and musically developed in its Kraftwerk-for-the-'hood approach, creating a vision of urban futurism that was the work of a band then adopted by the dance floor. Xeo-genetic wants to hurry up the adoption process and, as a result, like the Chemical Brothers' better-but-less-cohesive sophomore effort, it feels like a collection of better tracks -- from the Model 500-influenced "Play It Loud" to the almost King Crimsony rhythm complexity of the title track. The real upgrades are in the rhythm programming, where aggressive arrangements from the kick drum up treat breakdowns and high-hat sounds as if they were lead instruments. But between the Kraftwerk-meets-Kurtis Blow boom of "Radio Waves" and the raunchier electro-shuffle beat of "Computer Speaks," Hamilton proves that in bass, as always, rhythm is everything -- even if, this time out, it may be a little harder to find the songs.

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