- First album on Underl_ne is from Louderbach, aka Troy Pierce of the M_nus stable. The design of the cover, black with Joy Division lettering, hints at what lies within. The Louderbach alias allows Pierce to take his minimal sound darker than before, as 'Enemy Love’ journeys through an almost lightless set of tunnels that echo with subterranean beats. Minimal goth?
Don’t laugh – it’s not such a silly descriptor. Opener ‘Reflected’ is a somber affair with muted male vocals. ‘Vital’ slinks across the dancefloor to a dark and moody bassline while percussive flurries keep things buoyant. ‘Grace (Anxiety)’ pulses with a nervous, paranoid energy, distorted vocals twisting and echoing over a twanging melody that rolls up and down the register. With layers building slowly but surely, ‘Grace (Anxiety)’ is perfect for a dim and sweaty drug-fucked club hankering to be pushed over the edge. For some, however, the vocals may be a little too obvious; the music would speak far clearer and more eloquently without them.
From this point on ‘Enemy Love’ mostly stays on the darkened dancefloor. ‘Session 6’ is one of the highlights of the album. Starting on a series of handclaps, it builds up to a swagger of squelching hiss-beats and cavernous echoes before launching into full speed. ‘Cover Your Face’ is another standout minimal dance track, closer in feel to the M_nus side of things.
While ‘Enemy Love’ is eminently danceable, most of the tracks are also perfect for home listening, albeit on dark stormy nights. However, there are also slower pieces. ‘Vacuum Packed’ is aglow with faintly chiming bleeps and blips: lights that shine out in the night. It’s a wonderfully melancholic piece, both a standout track and a perfect illustration of the shadowy mists that swirl around the album.
For those fond of the M_nus aesthetic, and intrigued by prospect of a somewhat neo-gothic twist on it, ‘Enemy Love’ is a fine album.