ROTR Catch Up: Spectrograph – ‘A Giant Leap Of Faith’.

Music moves in strange ways. These links cross and connect and change shape as they go and when we join all the dots, they make sense. From the producer of Metroline Limited and cofounder of Geography of the Moon, comes an EP released on the impressive Depth Records, who gave us Kill Your Boyfriend’s ‘Elizabeth.

It’s a new set of ash-smothered sonics, an EP of remixes of songs never made, ideas stripped before ever seeing daylight. Spectrograph’s mini-album is caustic and lean with a roughshod apocalypse kick.

This should tell you it’s no easy ride. These are charred meditations on 80s glam noir that industrialise krautrock and goth. As the The Cure’s most abrasive anti-pop runs beneath, there are throwbacks to Cybotron’s first-wave Detroit techno with the rasp of 2002 Suicide.

The result is a slow trip through soundscape and texture that plays hard with clean tastes and patience. The palate is charcoal, the noises are static, minimalist beats slice and cut through the murk, and through it all, a strange sense of propulsion. As abrasive and grating as these sounds might be, they help drip-feed a morbid addiction; like we slow down for crashes or keep eyes glued to wastelands, Spectrograph keep us fixed on destruction.     

From the opening ‘Dmbt’ with its Brad Fiedel ‘T2’ chase panic, we know which world we’re stepping into. What might not be expected from that opening track are its following longplays and offshoots. ‘Dead Kittens’ is an eight minute slab of progressions where 8-bit glitch meets with off kilter organs. There’s the lightest of touches of new wave romance and a glimmer of hope in the darkness.

‘A Giant Leap Of Faith’ contorts vocals to modems as they run through the guts of the song. Once again, though a marvel of imagination, it’s designed and constructed to challenge. But what this human touch brings is much needed, like we’ve hit on the ghost in the shell. And having hit at a hint of an organic innard, we tread back onto minimalist bleakness; the cold house of ‘If You Think You Can Fly’.

‘A Giant Leap…’ is a curious thing, technically flawless and strangely addictive, though somehow still wanting a centre. This is a natural progression of both side’s separate parts, a collaboration and meeting of minds. But even in darkened dystopian worlds there’s still room for a sense of connection.