3 out of 5
Label: Central Processing Unit
Produced by: Gavin Pykerman, Phil Ventre, Simon Lynch
After the craftily developed title track opener, which moodily slinks its way into subtle but grooving electro, London Modular Alliance’s CPU EP falls back on an arrangement of sounds and beats – though pleasant – you’ve heard before.
Assuming the Discogs description of the act is still accurate, LMA is a live improv act of three dudes on synths. As a giganto generalism regarding improv – and looking at their pretty consistent output – I have to assume we get hits and misses along the way. While nothing on Cracked Dice is a particular miss, it’s more promising than memorable, with elements standing out but the “on the fly” nature of it apparent in the way it lolls on the familiar, dabbling in nuance. Head of the Keeper adds a heavy beat to an otherwise standard Aphex Twin-esque 90s quirk; B-side’s Chemical Peel is a bit more atmospheric but still very much in the RDJ range of prime Warp output. Closer Lemon Mishap gets back to Cracked Dice’s buildup of energy, and sense of mood, but it pulls back once its core beat is established and goes no further with it.
Wholly listenable, and the concept is definitely cool, but London Modular Alliance’s Central Processing Unit debut is a bit too predictable to be a standout on the imprint, or to encourage me to check out the trio’s other works.