Sano makes decisions you wouldn't expect from many other producers. Take the vexingly titled "Everybody Does It," where synthesized horns and grinding feedback get pumped to the back of the mix by a massive sidechained bassline. It's not house, techno, bass or any other genre I can think of; I'm not even sure it works in any objective sense. But Sano's enthusiasm is contagious. Elsewhere, he's more restrained, but no less giddy. "Fake Blood" is a swirl of sentimental melody beset by rushes of woozy dissonance. "Holding New Cards" is a sludgy, slow-motion techno epic as gnarly as three or four L.I.E.S. EPs combined. "Onion Slice" is a UK hardcore tune given a candy-colored glaze. "African Blue" has enough drum tracks to max out even late-model CPUs. The first time you cue up the album, you aren't quite sure what you'll get from one track to the next—and even repeated listening won't counter the whiplash.
All that said, Sano has snuck a couple of straightforward tunes on the backside of Holding New Cards. "Escape To Bronx" and "Insomnia" are both unyieldingly noisy, but they're also finely wrought acid cuts that would work well on a 12-inch. That spark is still there—on "Insomnia" especially, the drums practically tear gashes in the mix—but you can sense Sano ever-so-slightly refining his approach. Perhaps these tracks foreshadow a more sober phase in Sano's music, where he settles down and hones his approach instead of trying every style that might suit him. In the meantime, though, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more intoxicating new producer.