Meecham has specifically highlighted his love of the album format, paying tribute to the fact that albums enable you to get 'weirder' in a way shorter forms of music do not... That combined with that new (still curiously unnamed) vocalist gives Like A Machine a left-field analogue component that certainly benefits his sound.
Opening with the evil bass-heavy sounds of Theme From Magical Ring, Like A Machine initially sounds like a bad-ass sci-fi funk exploitation flick. It screams out for someone to create a version with some rhymes dropped on it - the thick and sinister and slow melodies the sickest hip-hop track you never heard.
Theme From Magical Ring is quickly followed by a stripped back, more raw and punk influenced version of the title track and lead single. It is another similarly aggressive and foreboding piece, full of the sensuality it always had but back here with added vitriol. At three-and-a-half-minutes it will leave you wanting, but perhaps that is a statement in itself.
The first six-minutes of Like A Machine are almost certainly its best, but that says more about how electric they feel than it does of the rest of the album. Current single RMI Is All I Want introduces a disco swagger that re-occurs a couple of times through the album, particularly on the Todd Terje featuring So.Ma.So - expect plenty of analogue synth and bass lines that make your backside bounce. Both are playful yet grimey.
Free from the constraints of the single format The Emperor Machine concept benefits in exactly the increased expansiveness Meecham has alluded to. That rework of the title track would never lead a single, and there are moments of psychedelic weirdness - as on the slow and cosmic Sonique. Varied and assertive, Like A Machine is a weird, but enjoyable, trip.