If you spend your days as a music critic, it can’t be easy to transition into the role of a producer and DJ. If you spend your life analysing the music of others, how are you supposed to edit your own? Angus Finlayson’s first outing as Minor Science, an EP on Trilogy Tapes, didn’t quite hit the mark except on the mind-melting Hapless, but for his sophomore release he’s really struck a solid note.
This slab’s out on Young Turks’ surprisingly good Whities sub-label, drawing out two confident hardware excursions that toe the line between house and techno. There’s a meandering, Actress-type quality to these tracks, but a melodic spontaneity and sure-footed drum work mean that the experimentation never dissolves the groove. Closing Acts is a very strong look, reigned over by a square bassline that struts rudely up and down the scales, adorned by cascading synthwork and the animal cries of otherworldly species. Glamour cuts the air with a starker machinedrum rhythm and more digitised squeals that sound like lives long lost in an infernal machine.
Finlayson’s soundfield may be decidedly synthetic but there’s an organic quality to how these melodies evolve, constantly subject to unexpected effects and abrupt left-turns. It means you can never get comfortable with these tunes, but that’s far from the point: this is heady, atmospheric dynamite just waiting to be wielded by the right hands.