Originally from New Zealand and now Melbourne-based, electronic producer Jeremy Coubrough has been responsible for a steady output of material under his Tlaotlon alias over the last four years on labels including FatCat, Epic Sweep and Dungeon Taxis. This fourth album (if you don’t count his split releases with other artists) ‘Natural Devices’ arrives on Coubrough’s own new label World Memory. Perhaps a good description for the eight tracks collected here would be ‘messy techno’, but while there’s certainly a sense of unpredictable looseness to the at times almost chaotic layers that Coubrough spools around his 4/4 kickdrum backings, it’s all done with an incredibly precise level of attention to detail. The accompanying bio info describes this album as reflecting the multiplicity of the online world, where pop-up windows and videos constantly divert the viewer’s focus, and it certainly proves to be an apt analogy for what’s going on here.
‘Delta Vista Pacific’ kicks things off with a smooth glide out into muted kickdrums and soft-focus pads before sudden interjections of synth swells and ricocheting noises rise like a web around the entire mix, the pulsing bass rhythms providing the only anchor of regularity around what almost sounds like a storm of rattling plastic objects at points. ‘Illuminated Biomass’ meanwhile sees traces of a twisted Italo-house vibe seeping into proceedings as bright analogue synth arpeggios get broken and scattered all over the place alongside eerie background ambience and dubbed-out, skipping hi-hats and brittle drum machines, before ‘Kurzweil Empirical Shadow’ sends robotically cut-up vocal elements and sudden sampled whoops tumbling through a dense forest of rattling percussion and stabbing synths, the intricate interplay of loose, unquantised loops building to an almost dizzying peak before finally washing away into the distance. Well worth seeking out.