SALTILLO: Monocyte CD Artoffact Records
It’s been six very long years since the debut release ‘Ganglion’ on the now defunct Hive Records; an impressive jaunt through a theatrical blend of natural orchestration and electronics. It would take a lot to knock that particular release off its perch, so in a lot of respects I can almost understand the wait.
The joining of ‘ABEO’ and ‘Proxy’ starts pretty much where the last release left off, with dramatic violin exchanges over cinematic overlays and rhythmical trip-hop. It’s not the immediate heart-rending excursion that was immediately evident the first time I heard this project, but does carry a necessary punch, leading into the piano and vocal driven ‘If Wishes were Catholics’.
As usual, there are nods at other artists that tap a similar vein; ‘They do it all the Same’ pulling on Massive Attack influences, whilst retaining that Saltillo edge and indeed, various elements of Portishead make their way into a lot of the tracks.
I am ultimately torn with ‘Monocyte’; on one hand as a stand out release on its own it should impress me more than it actually does. Indeed ’Forced Vision’ and ‘The Locus Priory’ would have had me rambling about this album for hours had they not been a paler watercolour of previous tapestries.
I do think this album is well put together, but after such a long hiatus I would have expected a release that didn’t sound somewhat like the outtakes of its predecessor. I suppose if that’s the worst I can say, then we are still left with a decent amalgamation of beauty, even if the face staring back at us in the mirror has aged a little poorly.