Pay attention, this is serious. [a]Surgeon[/a] operates in a space where sound meets science and on this, Birmingham producer Anthony Child‘s third album in as many years, he proposes a considered strain of pure sonic mathematics. Well, something like that.
He’s been heading in this direction for some time, releasing singles either destined for the world’s most frightening dancefloors or, as his radical reworking of [a]Mogwai[/a] last year attested, venturing into the brazenly avant-garde. ‘Force + Form’ finds Child ambitiously combining both over four ten-minute ‘works’ which never settle on a happy medium, though that effect is hardly unintentional.
And no matter which language or theory [a]Surgeon[/a] chooses to cloak his music in, there’s no escaping the fact that this is essentially Grade A minimalist techno. It may [I]sound [/I]clever thanks to unusual time signatures and meticulous production but, say, the warped, galloping funk of ‘Black Jackal Throwbacks’ is eminently invigorating.
Even when [a]Surgeon[/a] does get abstract during the final phase of ‘Returning To The Purity Of Content’ (ie, telephone call, hotel TV, grating noise) it helps to balance the overall [I]feel [/I]of the album rather than knock us dramatically off course. Perhaps that’s an accident, but ‘Force + Form’ is all the better for it.