London Modular Alliance - Homegrown EP

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  • The most surprising thing about London Modular Alliance's records has been their concision. Given each of the trio's live performers has their own arsenal of modular gear, it must be tempting to overstuff things. But apparently last year's EPs for ART Records and brokntoys didn't go far enough. On this followup for Hypercolour, the group pare things back further. The resultant electro tracks are impressively well sculpted, but their subtle melodies and laser-precise drums sometimes lack distinguishing features. In the EP's first half, simple details give the music the right smudge of colour. On "Civic Society" it's a Think break, which lends bite to an otherwise clinical sound palette. (The trio used breakbeats equally well on last year's "Pusher.") On "Home Grown" it's a shifting melodic element, which adds dynamism to a glistening battery of hi-hats and incidental percussion. The other half of the EP struggles to maintain this balance. "Lucid"'s palpitating low-end isn't enough to hold attention—the track feels half-empty until a sparse bassline enters in the latter half, but it's mixed timidly low. The IDM-ish "Saunton" is the EP's most rhythmically inventive track. Its moods—glowering menace at the opening, dark melancholy later—are expressed cautiously, but the whole thing never quite finds its feet.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Civic Society A2 Home Grown B1 Lucid B2 Saunton