9/10 Ant Staff review, 18 January 2012
Mute were always a label working on the absolute cutting edge of electronic music but in more recent years fully embraced the more synth pop direction of their output. It is refreshing then to have this cracking album drop on the label that harks back to the experimentalism of some of the labels earlier output. Beginning with the brief but mind-blowing hyperactive "Noise Activity' which I suspect is the product of a generative process. Then onto the sublime ambience of the title track which then proceeds to explode into chugging melodic machine music and alien sounds/ codes and back again. 'Vast' is a masterclass in avant noise and fractured techno rhythms, colliding, expanding and contracting. 'Snowhere' has icy Thomas Koner like glacial isolationist drones punctured by stabs of machine noise. 'Chillax' has an unstable rhythm that constantly increases in tempo with huge arcs of sound that one could mistake for a Porter Ricks record. The tempo becomes very disorientating in the best possible way. 'Tristfull' sounds like Terry Riley, SND and Derrick May jamming some fantasy fourth music, full of euphoric chimes but with an unsettling vibe looming beneath. 'Biograf' has some superb sound design that creates a huge sonic space whilst fragmented machine rhythms weave in and around the space and become mangled and chewed up by a very hungry computer. 'Worry' is a quirky little number with what sounds like mashed up and mangled Speak and Spell samples warping around a totally fucked techno framework. 'Drippex' has an effected vocal setting the way for playful skittering chiming melodies which eventually settle into a hypnotic and more stable state than they initially began. The final quarter of the album continues in fine style ending with a male / female oriental vocal exchange over glitched new age water chime sounds. I think this album has possibly fallen under the radar of a lot of listeners but definitely should not be overlooked. This is highly recommended and will for sure reward over repeated listens.
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