2nd gen – irony is (2001)

It would be unfair on both individual parties to assume that 2nd Gen adopted a lot of Techno Animal’s traits, however it definitely sounds like there were like minded characteristics flowing between both entities. Unlike Techno Animal at this time however, 2nd Gen’s Irony Is was technically Wajid Yaseen’s first official LP in 2001 and he definitely came out strong. Dirty, destroyed beats are smashed out on a familiar grid as the whole release slides effortlessly from track to track, sometimes with a pertinent abrasive slice, other times with a transitory ease.

The problem with artists such as Scorn, Techno Animal or 2nd Gen is they all lay fantastic foundations, even developing powerful introductions that compliment the rhythms when they eventually come in, but they just never really progress. Complimentary electronic explorations decorate their tracks and add flavour where necessary, but the beats rarely go beyond what their foundations construct and where hip-hop can sometimes be saved from monotony by vocals, these artists instead fall into a safe, boring rut not helped by the prolonged running time of each track. Admittedly, everything progresses and shifts a lot faster in experimental electronic music a decade after this record was released, so the expectations could have been set on a different precedence.

Nonetheless, Yaseen has done well here and while not nearly as experimental or unconventional as his uniform project with Alice Kemp & Yoshi Shinagawa, 2nd Gen’s Irony Is is a rugged attack on the listener serving to throw you out of your comfort zone and destroy a landscape only few could similarly achieve at the time.