This Immersion article was written by Sam Pickering, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Ben Kendall.
Immersion, the collaborative partnership of Wire’s Colin Newman, and Minimal Compact’s Malka Spigel, have returned with a new short and sweet LP entitled ‘Analogue Creatures’. As a duo they haven’t released anything together since 1999’s ‘Low Impact’, so this was welcome news to those who were anticipating a return.
Combining Spigel’s acoustic guitars with psychedelic synths, opener ‘Always The Sea’ keeps things simple, and as an opener it can go either way. Does this pave the way for something bigger and more exciting on the album, or is this the idea of Immersion entering with a bang? By the time ‘Shapeshifters’ has ended, it felt as if the whole song had been captured by about the halfway point. Looped synths can work when used creatively and when more layers are constantly added, but when they repeat for the length of the track with no real progression, it doesn’t particularly shine.
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At six and a half minutes long, you’d worry that ‘Mechanical Creatures’ would outstay its welcome, but surprisingly enough, it’s an interesting piece… mostly. Whilst it’s a powerful and ominous track, you’d expect more to be achieved in such a length of time. The lack of a vocal presence on this album is one that could be very much missed, even though there are a lot of instrumental acts out there who manage just fine without one.
‘Organic Cities’ has the taste of a track that would play as music that implies a build-up to a climax, but as it fades out, it fails to deliver that strong ending. Final track ‘Slow Light’ delivers hope for a game-changing U-turn amongst a plethora of plain, somewhat self-indulgent electronic music. Alas, the finale sticks to the style of the other four tracks, and yes, even though the sounds aren’t necessarily bad, they can be a little tedious.
I understand that this project is not meant to be for the masses. Ultimately, it’s an experimental LP released more as a hobby than anything else, but as it only clocks in at around 21 minutes, listening to it will not do anyone any harm. However, there are other artists out there who do what these guys do, but coat it with sprinkles and flavour. If ‘Analogue Creatures’ were a crisp flavour, it’d be Ready Salted: not terrible, but not interesting enough when there are other, more exciting flavours available.
‘Analogue Creatures’ is out now via Swim.