Manchester-based dj and techno producer Andy Stott established himself with a series of diligent EPs, later compiled on Unknown Exception (2008), and with the album Merciless (2006), but in the following decade he reinvented himself with the slow-motion jarring murky noir techno of the six-song mini-album Passed Me By (2011) and of the EP We Stay Together (2011), that includes Posers and the seven-minute Wires.
Luxury Problems (Modern Love, 2012), featuring vocalist Alison Skidmore, was baroquely produced to foster an unlikely fusion of ambient, techno and trip-hop music with a ghastly expressionist flavor. Numb takes a looped breathless whisper and manufactures (sexy) rhythm and (gloomy) atmosphere out of it before using its melodic content to recover its identity of trip-hop balladry. Brazilian chanting collides with strident dissonance in another hummable song, Hatch The Plan. Operatic invocations accentuate the ghostly aspect of the pulsing fabric of Lost And Found, slowly morphing into a busy Brazilian batucada. Sleepless is a more straightforward dance piece, with factory metronomes, glitchy noises and vocal snippets staging an android pow-wow of sorts. The abstract purely instrumental electronic fantasia Expecting borders on cosmic and gothic music, a deeply cryptic piece of music that seems to blend distorted samples of a thousand voices. At the other end of the spectrum, the jovial and soulful Luxury Problems, built around a steady (up)beat and heavenly chopped-up vocals, breaks the spell of the bleak suicidal mood. And Stott closes the album in a morbidly mellow tone with Leaving, a cross of dream-pop litany, children's lullaby and church hymn. This is one of the most creative techno albums since the 1990s, assuming that it can still be called "techno".