Even armed with this knowledge it's hard to actually perceive it. Depending on your perspective, this says a lot about Sasse—either that he's a pretty talented musician, or that he's playing it a little too safe. The answer, I think, lies somewhere in the middle. Melodically, tracks like "Low Slove" and "Alpha" feel just as well-endowed as more carefully-sequenced peers. So too are the filtered builds and gentle drops of "Analog City" as tight and logical as any. What really helps is Sasse's insistence on strong grooves. From the robotic bounce of "Fingers Inc" to the jacking pulse of "What Can You" or the subdued skip of "Eagle Eyes," the constant presence of bass keeps Third Encounter feeling unified, as it makes small hops between styles.
As "Fingers Inc" should imply, Chicago figures prominently, though it's not just about grit or soul. "707 Heaven," for instance, feels like one of Legowelt's whimsical creations, while at other times, the influence of Detroit or the West Coast seems subtly apparent. Through it all, there is one other thing gluing the album together: simplicity. "I tried to reduce the music to the essentials, not do too much trickery and crazy editing. Maybe you [can] hear it in the results," Sasse said in a recent interview. Yes, you certainly can, along with the Finn's ability to make his machines say more than some people with flashier tools ever will.