- Richard Barratt's third single for DFA, following one new release and one reissue, is actually two reworkings of one track that he originally self-released in 2012. And of these three records, This Machine (Kills Me) sounds the closest to his previous work as half of Sweet Exorcist, his Sheffield bleep duo with Cabaret Voltaire's Richard H Kirk and the artists behind the first record in Warp's catalog.
Both the "Machine Groove" and "Machine Build" versions of this single are dance floor ready. The former has a steady pumping beat and foregrounds the fat bassline for a slightly lower-pitched take on ravey bleep dynamics. The latter, a housier variation, emphasizes the vocal with plenty of reverb, punctuated by handclap snares and hi-hats.
Vocalist Pete Simpson emotes believably enough, but his somewhat flat tenor sounds a touch dated, evoking an era at odds with the production quality. And while both tracks are well-made and driving enough to function as intended, the differences between them would probably only be noticed by devoted fans. It doesn't seem that a newish project by an aging niche artist merits that kind of discernment yet.
01. This Machine (Kills Me) (Machine Groove)
02. This Machine (Kills Me) (Machine Build)