400PPM is reserved for what O'Sullivan calls "scraping and droning sounds." As primitive as that seems, the music on Fit For Purpose has subtle features. That might have something to do with O'Sullivan's experiences in bands like Led Er Est and Further Reductions. His partner in the latter group, Rose E. Kross, appears on album highlight "New Expiration." The track has a post-punk feel—O'Sullivan said he was trying to rip off the band Chrome—yet the rigidity registers as full-on techno. Adding Kross's whispery vocals and the ominous background horns, he synthesises these genres effortlessly.
O'Sullivan is adept at making the darkest kinds of dance music feel lively and animated. He channels an unhinged Luke Slater on "Cladogenesis." "8.069" is rail-straight techno with an EBM edge. "Metabolic Grift"'s odd pitch-bent lead squirms against all the metal around it. "Fit For Purpose" has loud, unstable drones rarely heard in most techno. These tracks underscore his inventive approach to modern techno.
In the same interview, O'Sullivan said the album sought to explore "human-machine interfaces." Fit For Purpose shows a producer less inclined to ride a loop than get his hands all over it. With so many voice manipulations, bending melodies, distortions and broken drum patterns, Fit For Purpose sounds like someone not just using machines but harnessing their feedback, imperfections and possibilities.