- Life is a concept album about spirituality and enlightenment, and the music—UVB's "tribute" to tribal techno—is as moody and meditative as that implies. It's a step back from the angsty style we've gotten used to from French producer Sebastien Michel, though not wholly surprising. As he mentioned when we spoke at the start of the year, the early sounds of Oliver Ho and James Ruskin are what first inspired him—it's the lack of tribal representation in a modern context that fuels him now.
Life was written for complete, front-to-back listening. It maps out a journey of personal discovery, as reinterpreted from a self-help book that empowers readers to live in the now. The album seems to honour the process in its slow-build structure, fostering a sense of progression in the loopy, elongated nature of the tracks. Unlike the sound purges MORD is usually known for, Life isn't in a hurry. To get the most from Life you have to adjust to its pace. It wants your time, and it rewards those willing to give it.
In a way the album works like a well-planned DJ set. The best moments subtly pick you up and carry you off. You almost don't notice the fluctuations because of how invested you are in where it's all leading. It takes a while to warm up. By sides C and D ("Body Of Pain," "Rules," "Focus," "Now On") we're in peak time mode, but without all the build up you can't experience the mid-section's potency to its full extent. Things get interesting as emotions run high towards the end. The tense, protracted undulation of "Enlightenment" and the shimmering eureka breakout of "Rebirth" are some of the finest points on Life. They're the climax everything has been working towards.
After following such a straight, purposeful path, Life winds up vaporous, beatless and doused in ambiguity. "Out (To A Second Life)," a 90-second nod to Michel's breakout Second Life EP, ends the album feeling inconclusive. It's a clever choice that leaves the gate wide open for another installment.
A1 Into The Body
C1 Body Of Pain
D2 Now On
F3 Out (To A Second Life)