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From one nightmarish-sounding record to another, I've just tackled the dark recesses of Jakob Riis & Bill Horist's psyches and now I have to dive headlong into the paranoid crevasses of a certain Michael D Donnelly's tortured id. Opener 'With Ease' here gives us electrical crackles and a meandering droned synth melody along with a two-note bass plod that's remarkably atmospheric until most of the elements drop out unexpectedly leaving you suspended in that snaking synthdrone.
'Behind the Laburnum' then takes us into some tiptoeing hi-hat and spy movie bass alongside weird alien industrial drone'n'clank, then a guitar starts chiming steadily alongside. Bass and guitar both use enough chorus to join The Cure. Then a gloriously distorted guitar joins the fray spluttering and spraying all over everything messily, and then once again it all just kind of falls apart into nothing. The way the tracks tail off once they've reached their peak is a little distracting, almost deliberately unsatisfying, or like he was just making the songs up as they went along and got bored and wandered off, but the cumulative effect is one of a crazed bedroom experimenter more interested in the tapestries of sound themselves as cumulative masses than trivialities like how they stop.
The sounds themselves are largely damaged and mutated, often with some kind of melody and groove lying around within their manky depths, but sometimes it's just a damaged squall of broken robotic chatter. Still the pieces themselves are reasonably short and it never really sits still long enough for any of the weirdness to get truly annoying, it's not the dark ambient trip I was fearing but more of a damaged anti-pop stompscape populated by self-loathing robots.
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