18 1/2 Minute Gaps internalizes the lessons of masters with unusual conviction. Derrick May's Rhythim Is Rhythim is one such touchstone. Hearing the light jazz touch on the title track's fragmented synth sweeps brings a shiver of surprising pleasure. In "ESO," a fondness for Burial's ghostly two-step is met with a measure of boom-bap attitude. "Spawn" veers left from all out drill & bass, and on tracks with more broken beats—"Ovum," "Frank White" and "Ondine"—one gets the sense that Autechre were a big influence.
But 18 1/2 Minute Gaps isn't merely a collection of genre exercises or the sound of Lewis aping iconic names. While he makes no secret of his influences, he captures their spirit as well as their sound, and somehow makes it all his own. This is, in part, down to a consistent sonic palette that favors distortion and industrialized textures. While some tracks could pass for techno, disruptive elements such as the stumbling bassline and occasional wrong-footed drums of "1625" make them hard to define as distinct genres. But for all of his experimental leanings, his allegiance to the dance floor is what sustains the album and makes it accessible. Turinn keeps the listener locked every step of the way—that's not a skill so easily taught.