Pure, Beyond Reproach is still unmistakably an Egyptrixx album. It uses the same harsh, synthetic sounds and the same austere, semi-rhythmic repetitions. Some tracks would sound at home on any of his records back to 2013's A/B Til Infinity. (The four-note melody partway through "Plastic Pebble [Beat]" could've been lifted from that album's title track.) But this time around the arrangements are more mobile, the repetitions more tightly knotted, and the music's metallic surfaces dulled, as if they've rusted through exposure to the elements.
In its softer moments, this new sound recalls the indie reinvention of Egyptrixx's old Night Slugs colleague, Jam City. (Egyptrixx has a synth pop history too, as part of Hiawatha.) On the title track, a vocoded voice croons over a strangely pastoral arrangement. The vocoder comes out again on "Anodyne Wants To Ammo," where it accompanies a slouching, almost rock-style backbeat. "V.E.P.N.," one of the album's highlights, ends with a gorgeous two-chord refrain—a moment of fuzzy redemption not so far from Jam City's Dream A Garden.
Egyptrixx compounds the mood through judicious use of real-world sounds. "Show Me How To Live" opens with the libidinous revving of high-powered car engines, before jump-cutting Kubrik-style into a dazzling cascade of synthetic sound. The cars return later, serving as a strangely emotive bookend to closer "Ti Exactamundo." The last artist to use car engines in this way was E+E, in 2013's weepy "Omega Plate." Like E+E's The Light That You Gave Me To See You, Egyptrixx's latest brings an element of the human and the mundane into his epic, depopulated landscapes. His harsher records were more impressive, but this one invites affection.
Fri / 3 Feb 2017
01. Lake Of Contemplation, Pool Of Fundamental Bond
02. We Can Be Concrete
03. Show Me How To Live
04. Pure, Beyond Reproach
06. Plastic Pebble [Beat]
07. Anything U Say, Everything U Do
08. Anodyne Wants To Ammo
09. Baby How Strong Are We
10. Ti Exactamundo