Submerged in the myth-rich depths of the "Black Atlantic," Drexciya is a world populated by the unborn babies of pregnant women tossed overboard by slave traders traveling between Africa and America. Finding life in the womb-like environs of the sea, Drexciyans developed into a race of superhuman aliens whose exile speaks for the evils of the past and the portents of a swiftly approaching future. Or so the story goes. As one of Detroit's most enigmatic acts, Drexciya has spent the past decade investing dance music with a self-styled history that makes techno mythology more than a mere critical conceit. On The Quest and Neptune's Lair, the duo told its story in the steely tongue of techno and electro, creating soundtracks for aquatic netherworlds that owed everything to the Motor City's post-soul inventions. For better and worse, Harnessed The Storm picks up where past Drexciya records left off. Saturating the album's thematic song titles with purely musical exposition, Drexciya still creates some of the most visionary electro around. Even without the backstory, songs like "Under Sea Disturbances" and "Soul Of The Sea" swirl with the mystery of unseen currents, divining the weather of a watery world. Elsewhere, the murky rumbles and hyper-clear clangs of "Dr. Blowfins' Black Storm Stabilizing Spheres" and "The Plankton Organization" articulate the titles' warring images. For all its aural depth, though, Harnessed sounds a bit dry in its slavish allegiance to austerity. Stiff and crisp to a fault, the album's beats seem deliberately drained of subtlety and swing. Drexciya has always been a paragon of Detroit-style formalism, but in light of the glitchy advances of contemporary electro, the duo's old-school style sounds too old-fashioned to sneak the future into the past.

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