Leeds based label 20:20 is one hundred releases old, and what better way to celebrate than to release one of your best albums yet? That honour goes to Carl Finlow, whose Random Factor project is rightly earning plaudits in house and techno circles. Finlow's style falls neatly between the two, with bits of electro also thrown into the mix, and the result is an album of deep tracks for either club or home listening.
It's a mostly instrumental album but starts with 'What I Need' and it's catchy vocal clip "I'm breaking down the barriers" (rather apt), which also surfaces later on in 'Too Fast...' The other vocal treat is the guest spot by Georg Levin, 'Move On', a bit more soul added to the already cool house beats. The deepest tracks on the album are 'Rewire', the building chords of 'After The Tone' and the electro touches added by Finlow to 'Second Principles'. 'Reflections' is a spacey number, while 'Convergence' characterises the Random Factor sound perfectly - surprisingly intricate if you listen close up but also great mood music if you don't. The warm, funky bass of 'Dreamstate' is a great sound, some 80s inspiration coming to the fore here, and 'Slow Right Down' shows how Finlow can do just that without having to resort to the cheese.
If you're a fan of Metro Area or Herbert this album comes strongly recommended - it could turn out to be one of the artist albums of the year, so well does it respond to repeat hearings.
Tracklist: Random Factor - Convergence1 What I Need (7:23)
2 Rewire (7:01)
3 Move On (6:22)
4 After The Tone (6:42)
5 Second Principles (6:48)
6 Reflections / Too Fast (4:51)
7 Convergence (5:35)
8 Dreamstate (7:17)
9 Circuit Semantics (6:31)
10 Slow Right Down (6:07)