Another Year/L'Enfant Coma (04.09, Square Root)
Byline: Autechre Remixing Joy Division
For: New Order, Antarctica, Autechre
I just kind of gave away the punch line and the climax in the part of the review that is supposed to be a teaser, piquing interest just enough to read below. If Autechre remixing Joy Division sound pretty rad just stop here, my thoughts don't go much beyond that. But the fact of the matter is, something sounding like Autechre remixing Joy Division is pretty rad! All the songs on both EPs seem to be centred around the central theme of the second track "Take it or leave it". Pulsing synths mixed with head banging dub both prop up and skitter in and out of the track leaving space for a killer guitar lick that permeates the entire record. McKinney's monotone voice is muddled somewhere in the mix as if the ghost of Peter Murphy was trapped inside a sequencer. The persistent guitar overlay with liberal use of delay and fuzzed out high register bass recall the guitar work of Swervedriver or Slowdive, and the monotone uniformity is reminiscent of Ian Curtis's iconic drollness. Far from being a languished post-goth album Another Year/L' Enfant Coma has a very human emotional centre that hold everything contained within its robotic heart. The rest of the songs of the EPs are fantastic but very much in the same vein. Either more guitars or less synths, less guitars more synths. Centre is a charming accompaniment to a mood that requires something steady, restrained and intensely focused. Like building a bookcase. Or fixing a bike tire.