Bilateral is just how you might imagine floating in space to be: sometimes it's breathtaking, sometimes it's lonely. That's because ENA's tracks are often made up of just a scuttling drum track plus one or two melodic elements. That said, the album mostly succeeds because ENA shakes things up beyond anything he's ever done before. Take the dub interpretations "Idle Moments" and "Inutility": the former balances its heaving mass on a barely-there foundation, while the latter quakes with subwoofer antagonism. "Triple Heads," with it's nervous squiggles, is ENA at his most inscrutable.
ENA still has a view of the dance floor from his astral perch. The album's first stretch hits the ground running before taking off, with the lofty ascent of the garage-indebted "Community Space." "Symbiot" eventually breaks out of its magnetic drones and into a brief house gallop. But even Bilateral's most accessible moments are shrouded in mystery, consumed by their own austerity.
One feeling that hangs over Bilateral is its (relatively) leisurely pace. The quick-fingered thrills of his RA podcast are shelved in the interest of making a listenable album—a smart tradeoff in itself, though it feels unfamiliar for this artist in particular. Not every moment here is edge-of-your-seat brilliance, but there's still no one else who makes beats as lean as these.