The experimental techno producer's latest LP brings the everyday to life.
But Mannerfelt apparently struggled with a concept this time out. "When I've done albums in the past, they've had quite focused themes to them, and ideas before I started making them," he told Ransom Note. "This one, I was a bit stressed out that I didn't really have a plan of what to do. To bring it all together, I realised all these feelings I've been having over the past couple of years, and having that daily life." It would be near-impossible to guess this is an album about the contrast between life as a touring artist and life at home. But I'm not sure it matters. Even if it simply guided him in the studio, the idea has helped Mannerfelt release yet more great music.
Fans of his will recognise the basic shapes here. To use a few reductive tags, Daily Routine features ambient, club and experimental, the blend that has recently served Mannerfelt so well. The album's midsection captures this. We encounter calming ambient ("Belgian Blues (Black MIDI Mix)"), a scratchy post-Aphex soundscape ("How Was Your Day? (Numb)") and a bone-rattling club track that brought to mind SØS Gunver Ryberg and Demdike Stare. The mood ramps up from reflective to deranged, but the sense of strange coherency is maintained.
Humour is often the garnish on all of this. "Now, this is my extravagant entrance for my show, which I'm touring right now," says a sassy narrator over the ravey yet ambient "Introductions & Aspirations," the opening track. A sly cultural reference or taking the piss? Mannerfelt has a habit of leaving us guessing. This is true on the banging "Temporary Psychosis (VIP Mix)" and "Sissel & Bass," where he loops titular phrases that could equally be a rave culture tribute or parody. (The latter is the only full vocal track—Sissel Wincent, sounding like Peaches, gives an insouciant commentary on artistic and personal freedoms.)
It's worth paying particular attention to the final track, as it condenses what Mannerfelt is currently achieving into four-and-a-half minutes. It begins with a hectic, effects-heavy drum solo. A synth-driven ambient section follows. There's a sudden blast of a carnival horn. The chaos of the drums returns. A robotised voice materialises and, finally, fades into feedback. It's all very Mannerfelt.
Tue / 4 Dec 2018
01. Introductions & Aspirations
02. Hibernation Hyper Nation
03. Cigarettes (Eurofierceness Mix)
04. Sissel & Bass
05. Belgian Blues (Black MIDI Mix)
06. How Was Your Day? (Numb)
07. This Machine Shares Memes
08. Weighing My Brain
09. Temporary Psychosis (VIP Mix)
10. Tried It (Blue on Blue)