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Trainer is acompilation—with a few previously unreleased tracks thrown in for goodmeasure—of the early work of the Handley and Turner duo, done mostly,with various aliases, when they were still members of Black DogProduction, whose "Bytes" LP is a classic of the "ArtificialIntelligence" post-rave electronic music on the Warp label.
  Trainerincludes also the whole of the impossible to find first Plaid LP,1991's Mbuki Mvuki. Although far from the euphoric rush of breakbeatmadness of 1990-93 english/belgian rave era, Black Dog/Plaid/Balilmusic in those years showed more rhythmic inventiveness than most oftheir colleagues in the IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) movement. Reallythe opening track "Uneasy listening" show close similitude to thesample-based breakbeat hardcore of those days (in this case speeded upvocals included), and most of the tracks from Mbuki Mvuki sound likeslowed down, asymmetrical and elusive rave music. In CD 2, who containstracks from 1992 to 1995, rhythms become more regular and even lessfrenetic, the music now becoming ambientish and Detroit technoinspired, more in the style of A.I. Warp compilations and relatedrecords. While most of the tracks are really enjoyable, a morerestricted selection, alas a single CD instead of a double, would haveretained a higher quality. Highlights include the oddly brazilianflavoured "Scoobs in Columbia" and the much sought after Balil "NorteRoute", really a ninety's update of the Y.M.O. eighty's update of thefifties Martin Denny's exotica. Once upon a time in the future.