It's not just the styles that differ; so do the underlying techniques. "City Nights" rolls out long strips of jazz percussion, Rhodes and horns, with all kinds of odd phasing and slap-back effects suggesting a loosely woven rope. Somewhere, deep in the mix, there's a hammering 909 to keep things moving forward, but you can never quite sort out what's been played, what's been programmed and how much is all an aural illusion, like a reflection in a buckling hall of mirrors.
At the other end of the spectrum, "The Parkhurst" and "Multiply" sound like pure machine jams, just synths and drum machines knocked out relatively straight, but for a thin layer of cold, metallic effects. "Multiply," in the spirit of vintage Robert Hood, is lithe and pinging, its main focus a set of nervous arpeggios that tumble out of phase, tri-tones ringing like alarm bells. "The Parkhurst" has a similar, wiry shape, but it's led by a heavier, more melodic bassline; an uneasy whine offers a hint of Oni Ayhun's dentist-drill intensity.
"After Five" is a more traditional take on deep house—comparable to Kai Alce's quieter moments, maybe—with crisp drum machines and dry congas sketching a modest outline that's filled in with blotchy Rhodes samples. Sparse and moody, it's a model of elegant restraint. So is "Suspended," a track reminiscent of Newworldaquarium, with deeply dubbed drums curling around a watery chord. It lives up to its title, hanging in the balance between rhythm and dissipation.