The album's opening one-two punch hits the sweet spot, with the jumpy kick drums and noodling melodies of "Wiggett: So we know that hexog****" and the psychedelic splatter of "22:25," whose frantic MIDI harpsichords make it sound like a big-tent-circus overture. They're both seductively strange, fun and just the right length. But from there, Magazine 13 loses focus. "How do I know what solutions x form?" lazily layers long sustained tones like a child playing with an organ, while "Cherry Red" just plods along, occasionally repeating the same dramatic synth line as if to remind us what track we're listening to.
There are moments of joy in a track like "Cherry Red," though, especially when it slips into a neat krautrock chug. You could say the same for the 15-minute closer, "All the alts I'mm holding are hurting," which has an appealing gothic chill, even if it can't quite decide where it's going.
Over and over on Magazine 13, Ansorge's unique approach shows strengths as well as weaknesses. His style of drum programming, where every sound is drawn out and every snare or hi-hat savoured, is captivating in its bluntness, but it's so plain that it can't hold up over the duration of a full-length. As the title suggests, Magazine 13 doesn't feel like a coherent album so much as a more open-ended platform for the same thing we get on his 12-inches. Judging from the strength of that recent Hinge Finger record, maybe that format works better for Barnt's ever-weirder club music.