Record Review 

After a decade of helping put Minneapolis on the world techno map with his records and DJ sets, Chris Sattinger remains fairly obscure -- even for an underground dance artist. In 1991, he began releasing techno tracks with titles like "Ouija Board Through a Vocoder" on artist-run labels like Richie Hawtin's Probe and Woody McBride's Communique. But he's also done time in rock bands and as a free-jazz saxophonist.

Outside the dance arena, Sattinger has made a name for himself in tech circles. He recently lectured a graduate class at Princeton on his audio-design program, which he followed with a laptop performance in the student lobby.

This varied background bears fruit on the new Rugged Redemption. Dub is a constant, either directly -- as on the deep skank of "Dubsturnt" -- or as a guiding principle. But the elements of nearly every track are treated like sonic Silly Putty.

Few of the songs here fit any one niche. "Rokdog" sends a disco-funk track through a series of irruptions and glitches, like the beat-breakdown climax of DJ Shadow's "Building Steam With a Grain of Salt" turned into a common occurrence. "Redemption ();" is "aquatic jungle" that literally sounds like it's buried underwater.

Elsewhere, "The Rastabomba" melds cracked spoken-word patois over splintered breakbeats and a low-rumbling acid bass line. "Indestructible" scatters familiar-sounding jazz fragments into a soothing, slightly unsettling sound mass. Created, mixed and mastered in computer code Sattinger wrote himself, Rugged Redemption's attention to detail brings new pleasures to the fore with every spin.


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