Review: UK techno veterans Mark Broom and James Ruskin first joined forces under The Fear Ratio alias back in 2011, delivering the inventive - and hugely enjoyable - IDM-meets-techno full-length, Light Box. Here they join forces once more for a follow-up that gleefully explores similar sonic territory, whilst throwing a few more influences - most notably experimental hip-hop and vintage electro - into the pot for good measure. The result is a hugely entertaining album that naturally doffs a cap to Skam Records' dystopian roots, as well as the heavyweight soundsystem throb of dubstep, the hypnotism of dub techno, and the crackling electronic wizardry of Autechre.
Review: As solo artists, James Ruskin and Mark Broom are celebrated for the uncompromising nature of their techno tracks. Yet when they come together as The Fear Ratio, the resulting off-kilter electronic music is much more akin to the angular, electro-influenced IDM work of fellow Skam associates Autechre, Gescom and Freeform. "They Can't Be Saved", their first full-length for five years, continues in this vein, delivering a distorted, mind-altering fusion of clanking, left-of-centre drum machine rhythms, otherworldly aural textures, alien electronics, ghostly chords and cybernetic melodies that more often that not skittishly race across the soundscape. Its impressive stuff all told and should appeal to all of those who appreciate the more skewed and unearthly end of the electronic spectrum.