The third of the Landforms quadrilogy, Mountain, is the least accessible of the series so far. Although the typical 10-20 elements are all in place – the broken beats, distortion and sounds of knackered machinery – there’s something missing from this EP. The first three tracks in particular sound paradoxically both overcooked and unfinished. The beat abstraction of Globe sounds like a cousin of Autechre’s Confield that has been left out in the rain to rust, but doesn’t really go anywhere. Similarly, Majik takes the rhythm up to techno bpm, but the end result is a bit of a mess. Opener Wercc has a little more going for it, with the trademark cranks and clunks overlaid by delicate free jazz touches, but these are all but obliterated by the churning beats.
Only Littoral really works. The beats are pushed back into a fog of sound that is a little like Disco Inferno’s late EPs, and there is a simple analogue melody driving the track forward. Perhaps it’s too much to expect Ed Davenport to match his own high standards with every release, but the tracks on Mountain do seem a bit like cast-offs.
1. Wercc 3:45
2. Globe 5:22
3. Majik 6:49
4. Littoral 6:21