MEANS OF PRODUCTION – THE DEPTHS (no label)
Means of Production’s first two EPs are all steady forward propulsion and glaring intensity, like taking Model 500’s night drive down an endless underpass on a hospital gurney, staring up at the strip lights. On. Off. On . Off. “The Depths” is different, having a greater feeling of space, with the individual notes as discrete events, tiny self-contained dots of digital sound, which hover around you like a pointillist mist. The vocals are also a development, Tim Day having put aside the wounded elk OMD yelp of Space Heroes Of The People for a flat and understated intonation (think luke-warm leatherette), which perfectly suits the lyrics’ impersonal Ballardian cataclysm of landslides and “inescapable fluorescence”. The track builds to a wonderful TARDIS materialisation swirl, leaving you uncertain quite what this cyber-oracle is warning about, but eager to hear more. The depths? We’ve barely scratched the surface.
Tiger Mendoza’s remix brings out the track’s melodic core, adding a tiny cuddle of harmonisation to the vocals, making them inviting and perhaps even comforting (heart-warming leatherette), and placing them over a sassy strut of a rhythm. Even here, though, the friendly aura is dispersed when the phrase “she has gone into the sea” is repeated with the travel-sick wobble of worn out tape (and how we’re looking forward to Walkman-wielding hipsters discovering that little sonic treat in a few years). Fred Ugly’s remix is simpler, a chunk of colourful, handmade, slapdash fun, like spending a drunken hour running on airport travelators, which lightens the mood, and yet, in its own way, also has an inherent queasiness. Any tips for getting vomit stains out of this leatherette?