Jim Rivers “Airport Vultures” (Intec Digital)

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Airport Vultures, Jim Rivers' forthcoming album on Intec Digital (an imprint of Carl Cox's techno powerhouse, Intec Records), can be compared to a fine steak dinner—if you like that sort of thing. The flavors of the 13-track album are classic and subtle without being pretentious. While there is nothing particularly groundbreaking about the work, it is relevant and powerful; the tracks are playable and danceable, they function on their own or in the context of the whole.

As with any good art, the real beauty of Airport Vultures is in the fact that it improves with every play, moving from a pleasant but rather anonymous example of new techno to a more profound, seductive soundtrack of sensual, sleek machines or the heartbreakingly emotionally unavailable lover. There is a lot going on beneath the surface. The album is at once hypnotic and pulsating, angular and focused—however, Airport Vultures lacks the immediately gratifying pop sensibility of much of contemporary deep house, or the searing intensity of pummeling modern techno. While there are many exceptional songs (including the first two singles “We Can Do This All Night” and the title track), they work more as energy builders and sustainers within a DJ set—not necessarily the peak hour hit, but the records played before and after it. This is refreshing, a relief, the mortar between bricks of tracks everyone knows the words to. The “filler” should be killer, too.

It isn't particularly innovative, but that would be missing the point. In Airport Vultures, Jim Rivers delivers an excellent piece of work that will undoubtedly stand the test of time and stay fresh for years. Do not sleep on this album. Preview below, buy on BeatPort here.