As with last year's Come Follow Me album and Videotape single, The Red Rope EP makes it plain that Noah Anthony, AKA Profligate, is one hell of a craftsman. It consists of three diligently constructed tracks that, in addition to boasting sweeping arrangements and complexly layered grooves, employ the essential components of synth-pop and EBM in ways that are fresh yet familiar. He's clearly a child of the recombinant age, who has clinical knowledge of how his influences are put together and, by extension, can be taken apart and reassembled.
But this doesn't mean his music is cold and studied. Quite the opposite: it's exceptionally personal. On "From All Sides" and "Annihilated" Anthony's narcotized drawl veers between desperation and resignation, as clipped kicks, knotted static and phantom chords represent all the struggles and issues that so clearly vex him. Halfway through the latter, he moans "I don't hear you at all" before his voice dissolves into a whirring loop of "alls." It's one of those definitive industrial moments when alienation actually sounds erotic. The heavy mood relents oh so slightly on nine-minute track "The Red Rope Again, which takes up the whole of side B. Yet that's only because Anthony, slipping into velvety echo, has submitted fully to the grinding propulsion that surrounds him.
TracklistA1 From All Sides
B The Red Rope Again