"Singing," of course, is a relative term here, since McIlwain likes to smear and serrate the human voice as much as he does the clipping beats, curdling static and glossy keyboards that make up the rest of his work. As you'd figure, the types of voices he likes best have a kind of foghorn breathiness: two Distance tracks guest-star Vilja Larjosto, a Finnish singer-songwriter, whose work here is pleasant but lacks bite; another, "Gravity," features Caitlin Sherman. Apart from "Two Dots," though, few of these voices, including whomever it is making his/her way into the relatively straightforward (and rather beautiful) "Crowded Room"—maybe McIlwain himself—do much enunciating, at least by the time it reaches our ears. McIlwain is a subtle and smart producer, and while sometimes he can seem more subdued than is necessary, there's a lot to uncover here.
Particularly in the album's second half—tracks six through eleven are where most of the meat is. "Gravity" is subtly funky, pitter-patterned hi-hats over irregular-just-so pulse, while McIlwane cuts Sherman's voice into a series of stroboscopic, charged, percussive confetti-patterns. "Baffle" builds and builds some more for until it's slowly but gently swallowed your headphones, before receding quickly. "Every Disguise" is curling and enveloping, its micro-sound-bites traipsing evenly, apart from a stray bit of static that goes on just far enough past where it should to set the whole thing slightly off. And on "Double Vision" a ruminative keyboard figure in foreground seems to play with its own timing, dragging before landing on the beat and making it sound new each time. Then some others join it, and they help.