I think initially i have set my expectations too high, or rather in the wrong direction for "iron city." it took me a while to get into it fully, but for past couple of weeks this album has been a continuous companion of mine. overall this is a laid-back, relaxed release that combines both sides of l'usine into a complete, undividable whole - atonal, soft ambience and prominent rhythms. this is yet another split release between mad monkey records and hymen.
as of late, I came to like "iron city" almost as much as "pseudo steady state," but on a slightly different level. my favorite tracks are those with heavy, head-nodding downtempo groove that emerges from the layers of complex shuffling ambience with familiar, but more structured cut-up atonal waves - rustling and flowing on their own, becoming quiet and fragile for a moment and then entering this beautiful state of "suspended tension" that I appreciate so much, when you wait, and wait for a heavy percussion drop to fall, while almost tangible, dense low-fi analog electronica shifts and morphs, slides and stutters. l'usine found a perfect balance here - this combination is so unique and so easily recognizable, a delicate balance, a stellar contrast between fragility and heaviness, between ambience and rhythms; the composition is what ties them together, alternating between the two, contrasting and complementing, slowing down and pausing only to explode later with unexpected deep groove (yes, it is damn addictive!); gently crackling, toying with processed feedback and constantly humming bassline and analog tones on the background, effortlessly changing pace and direction, effervescent and eccentric, intricate and introspective, meticulously built and seamlessly elegant, gentle and fuzzy, arrhythmic and broken; enticing you with brittle glitch, and smoothing with melancholic atonal strings. all of it is new l'usine - all brand new, and yet so familiar and so close.