- The latest 12-inch from Morphine Records, Lack's Expect Night Work, projects a particularly insular vibe. All four tracks feel like the work of a musician who spends his days locked inside an attic feverishly documenting his DIY investigations into hardware electronics. It's an image that might not be far from the truth, actually. Juggling several projects and a pair of excellent cassette labels (Lmgrovllum and Grovl), the always-busy Philip Maier qualifies as a hardcore experimenter of sound.
Considering Maier is yet another talented export from the Carrboro, North Carolina underground (see also Profligate, Lazy Magnet and Secret Boyfriend), it should come as little surprise that Expect Night Work sits at the intersection of techno and noise. But what truly distinguishes this music is just how haunted it is by proto-industrial primitivism, namely mid-'70s Cabaret Voltaire and early Pyrolator. "Perfervidae," "Aphelion" and "Emenice Grise" are harsh, diagrammatic studies in rhythmic rot built from grubby synth chords, clubfooted kicks and what sounds like the dying pulses of archaic heart monitors. "Imprii"—eight minutes of choked reverb and rusty percussion that's steadfast in its denial of momentum—is just as austere. However, behind all that thick, analog crud is a musician who's deceptively fussy about sound design. After all, it takes a lot of hard work to make music this perfectly decayed.
B1 Emenice Grise