Sure, it's all clearly come from an array of real machines, but used sparingly to trace out filmic, widescreen visions. There's a dance floor chug littered throughout (exceptional examples being molten and off-kilter efforts like "PowWow" and the serene Detroit vibe of "Track David Would Play"), but every moment still feels like a vivid vignette that paints various pictures of everything from distant planets to deserted industrial estates via biker discos and the sort of sunken sci-fi metropolises towards which Vakula often gravitates. It's an ambitious journey, but one made in perfectly sequential steps, starting with "Stoplight LooseJaw," a creepy and paranoid mood that gets darker and darker before a feather of melodic optimism drifts by and the tension dissipates to the sort of angelic hum that always plays in Hollywood's heaven.
That is the first of many times you start in one place and end up somewhere totally different. "Diatom" transports you from thick apocalyptic ambiance through chaotic acme piano scales to "Backwash," a sun-fried savannah where bluesy guitar picks away amongst the huge and breaking waves of an echoing steel drum. Though tracks range from being moody and under three minutes, to more dance floor and over eight minutes long, they knit together tightly, never feeling unfinished or sketchy in the way Actress sometimes can. They simply rinse every drop out of the long-player format; explore every possibility.
A certain sonic economy characterises large parts of the album, too. Rather than beating you over the head from a distance, swirling soundscapes pull you right in and suspend you in their midst. Nebulous sounds seemingly float all around you in every direction, some ripple like water, others fly like sparks: another testament to JJ & J's ability to manipulate sound into whatever surface they want, which ever mood takes them. Techno Primitism is a landmark example of worlds colliding, the cosmic and electronic with the human and the organic. An orgy of acid, oriental, country, rock and so much more that takes you to a million other places but here. None of them familiar. All of them fascinating.