Published Aug 29, 2014Last April, Simian Mobile Disco travelled to the California desert, willing themselves into creating an album like they've never made before. Taking three days to write and rehearse, using only a modular synth, sequencer and a mixer, the British two-piece went on to record the new material live in front of 900 fans at nearby Joshua Tree National Park. To the layman, Whorl wasn't quite the grand departure the band envisioned — this brand of instrumental, classic techno doesn't stray too far from what they've pumped out on their last three releases — but with repeat listens, Whorl exposes itself as a complex and fulfilling piece of art.
Tracks like "Sun Dogs" and "Tangents" are structured as typically bouncy SMD fare, but the duo injects layers of hazy analog runoff and decaying soundscapes that give much of the album a rustic and off-the-cuff feel. On their fifth release, Simian Mobile Disco's dedication to challenging their tried-and-true formula has found them coming off looser and more resourceful than ever. (Anti)