- Last year's Order Of Noise LP felt like the point at which Vessel really hit his stride. Since then, the Young Echo collective Seb Gainsborough belongs to has continued to grow in stature, partly through the release of a collaborative LP. But it's taken until now for the Bristol producer's brand of tape-warped dance floor romanticism to resurface in solo form.
The title track on Misery Is A Communicable Disease is closest to Gainsborough's earlier work: its scattergun technoid percussion will be familiar, as will its pivoting between blackened industrial space in the opening minutes and growing euphoria later on. It's a winning formula, as Gainsborough well knows, though the execution here isn't his most incisive. Elsewhere, he explores new, rather knottier terrain. "VMI," in its diabolical jauntiness, is a distant cousin of Powell's "Oh No New York." But Gainsborough trades in no wave twang for gloopy tape melodies and, later, almost Kraftwerkian synths. Sluggish techno number "Not For Design" invokes the industrial motorik beats of yesteryear in a manner reminiscent of Factory Floor, octave-leaping bassline and all. Gainsborough's output has always been diverse, and while it's good to see him once again buck expectations, the results are gratifying rather than stunning.
A Misery Is A Communicable Disease
B2 Not For Design