- A modular synth needn't imply a certain style or sound—it's just a tool, after all. But devotees of this particular piece of gear often seem to reach a similar endpoint: gloopy, exploratory, audibly improvised music. London Modular Alliance, the performance arm of the London Modular shop, shows some of these tendencies in its live sets. But the trio's debut EP is something quite different: a four-tracker of sharp, concise electro that transcends the tools used to make it.
"Wireless" and "Moonbase" establish the style, which is dark and muscular, with melody sparingly applied and counterbalanced by dive-bombing bass tones. The ominous sci-fi mood isn't exactly unusual for an electro record, but it's rarely so well executed. (The latter track's meaty bass stabs are particularly pleasing.) The rest of Wireless deviates from the template. "Pusher"'s crunchy breakbeats supply a bit of ragged 'ardkore intensity, though it never quite hits the crescendo you might have hoped for. On "Fallow," the melodies take on a grander dimension, evoking the cool, majestic expanses of early Autechre. It's the highlight of a slick and satisfying debut.