- Credit is due to Mark Fell and PAN for luring Errorsmith out of his studio retirement. Well, semi-retirement: in the past half-decade Erik Wiegand has issued a handful of singles as half of MMM, keeping alive the ravey spirit of the duo's '97 hit "Donna." The MMM material indulges Wiegand's peak-time impulses; his thorny, computer-music side, showcased brilliantly on his long-dormant solo project, hasn't been so evident. This collaborative release revives it, though not in a way we've quite seen before.
In terms of a middle ground between the two producers, Protogravity falls a little closer to Fell's tantric beat work-outs than Wiegand's wilder excesses. The tone is colourful but ambiguous, the structures slow-moving. Lengthy A-side cut "Protogravity" grips onto an asymmetrical groove and doesn't let go. It's hard to tell whether the results are meditative or uncomfortably tense. Partway through, falsetto voices sing harmonies low in the mix—a strangely human touch in the robotic setting. These voices (Wiegand's maybe) return on the rhythmically straighter "Cuica Digitales," this time processed so they slide nauseatingly off-pitch. The effect is jarring but still oddly cheerful. On "Atomic #80," the pair fire off a bewildering salvo of metallic concussions. Protogravity feels slight compared to other projects from its creators, but that doesn't make it any less fascinating.
B1 Cuica Digitales
B2 Atomic #80