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Paul Blackford Betamax

A mature collection of fresh and airy electro movements.

Released: 7 August 2020
Betamax

Central Processing Unit have always managed to maintain that hard balancing act of straddling both the dancefloor and the home environment, and the latest offering by Paul Blackford is definitely encamped in the latter. Betamax is a superbly measured and melodic addition to the label's growing roster of quality releases. This is certainly no detriment to the release, with all of the tracks below three-and-a-half minutes in length.

The brevity reinforces the notion that this is less about dancefloor duration and more about creating enveloping soundscapes for your car or your living room. There's little doubt this is a CPU record as the sounds are familiar but still fresh, each track dovetailing nicely into the next. Unlike some of the label's previous releases, there are no surprises or analogue curveballs - and that's no bad thing. The title track is a dreamy 808 number that eases you into something akin to a cool backroom DJ set.

'Far From Home' highlights Blackford's hip-hop influences with a track that could only be improved if the Souls of Mischief rhymed over it. While 'Business Class' is interspersed with glimpses of a sound reminiscent of early eighties electro-soul, again the right vocal would take this onto a very different plateau.

The whole package comes together as a mature collection of fresh and airy electro movements that have deep-rooted influences in funk, eighties electro and soul, plus the recent overtones of IDM.