The story of James Pants is an unlikely one. The son of two Presbyterian ministers from an American backwater called Spokane, he went from being the goofy white teenage DJ for a black nationalist rap group to a much-loved multi-instrumentalist who can count on fans as diverse as Flying Lotus, Zane Lowe, Erol Alkan and the entire Ed Banger collective! 2008 debut LP Welcome told the tale of a lone music obsessive who synthesised a staggeringly broad record collection into a coherent LP in a style he dubbed fresh beat , taking in 80s boogie, synth experiments, garage rock and much more. Since then James has toured the globe, released Seven Seals (a tribute to his beloved 70s cult and New Age records), pressed mixtapes with names like Psychik Almanack Vol. 1 and, perhaps most significantly, uprooted from Colorado to Cologne, where he works as a studio engineer. While most of James Pants was recorded in a Colorado basement, listening to the album suggests the relocation to the home of Krautrock luminaries such as Can, Faust and Neu! is a serendipitous one. Strange Girl matches a motorik rhythm with a smattering of Jarvis Cocker-like vocals, while Darlin could be East Germany s take on Joe Meek. While James characteristic humour is less in evidence here, there s still plenty of light with the shade: A Little Bit Closer might open with washes of distortion and reverbed vocals but a slapped bass and bright synths provide a magical and unexpected counterpoint. This is the sound of a record collector-turned-musician finally outstripping his source material and finding a sound all of his own.