That's not to say that Roots and Wire doesn't pack any heat. The album may kick off with two slower numbers, but the arrival of the next trio of tracks turns the tide. All three tease, building patiently before showing their true colours. "Grounaton" gives it all away by slipping "Berghain" into its subtitle while "Xberg Ghosts" and "Deep Structure" are seductive deep house dubscapes that sequence beautifully together via the slow burnout of the former that becomes the opening voice sample of the latter. Resonant and determined, this engine room of the album is all unrequited urgency—a stark contrast to the more relaxed atmosphere of the rest of the tracks.
"Sun People" and "Night Stepping" follow and both embody this more laidback mood with their unhurried pace and the light sowing of beats on the breathy melodies like seeds. Tikiman/Paul St. Hilaire opens and closes the album with two impeccable vocals, conveying a feet-up reefer madness vibe rather than hedonistic/hell-for-leather. The title track caps off the album with brisk dubstep beats and ~scape-styled melodica.
Where Journeyman's Annual formed a complete whole by its deliberate reinforcing of the similarity between the tracks, Roots and Wire succeeds because the different intensities and beat structures of each track offer a more dynamic ebb and flow, all bound together by a homogenous dub reggae spirit. Monteith's refusal to aim for moody, vacuous postures aids in letting the whole thing breathe—and helps to give back some of the life and energy he puts into it. Being so good, the only complaint you'll have is that isn't just a little bit longer.