this l'usine on isophlux comes in a form of 12". I think I have finally managed to grasp the new (well, relatively new, I suppose) style of the band. it appears that in all its diversity jeff mcilwain is leaning towards the sound that is somewhere in between early idm-like crunchiness of self-ttiled album and fluid, melodic side represented by l’usine icl (think “pseudo steady state”). on this record, in particular, the technoid elements seem to replace the idm side, resulting in smooth, flowing compositions where acoustic side of things plays a significant role. I guess I could also compare it with my favorite sybarite tracks, or multi instrumented swayzak with its atonal groove and driving rhythms.
if the first track still keeps somewhat close to idm genre, subsequent compositions come closer to minimal techno with fluttering keys, soft noises, beautiful acoustic sounds. the beats are round, well-shaped and flowing, strings and keys are placed nicely, and if one stretches the analogy a bit, you can probably compare it with a lot more upbeat boards of canada material.
I love the way “flat” slows down in the middle and breaks out to this slowly building, idm-like groove that picks up with atonal keys and smooth percussion.
this record is softer, more acoustic, more playful, placing emphasis on melodic and composition side of things, which creates more of a “universal” appeal and still manages to keep the core of the l’usine style intact. it has well-placed traces of idm intermixed with beautiful melodies and layers of soft electronica. overall, I would recommend this to pretty much anyone, from those that enjoyed atonal melodies of hymen and u-cover releases to the ones that liked earlier, crunchier sound. this record once again proves l’usine to be one of the most notable and impressive artists on idm/electronica scene.