The filthy undertones on this new release from Andy Meecham never manage to sit far below the surface.
Back with the first Emperor Machine release in almost four years, Meecham's latest release comes through Norman Cook's Southern Fried label and precedes a new album, due later this year. Work on that album has focused on collaborations with a new vocalist, who somewhat bizarrely remains nameless on the press release and replaces Meecham's previous (occasional) vocal partner (his wife).
Judging by the content of the title track here Mrs Meecham has every right to be worried... Like A Machine is a big, sensual monster of a record. With glorious arpeggiated synths and lose punk-funk drumming it melds cosmic disco and electroclash to create a record built on the best bits of house and techno's last ten years. It's a long, expansive and chaotic record. And if you want evidence of what was on Meecham's mind when he made it, just check out that ridiculous cover...
The EP opens with the Extended Erotic Vocal but also includes an instrumental version and the Stretched Erotic Dub, a more experimental, loser take on the opener that edges closer towards the sort of acid funk of a DFA release. Andrew Weatherall provides another version (ironically for Weatherall, it's actually shorter than the a-side). It is much more minimal in comparison, and with additional male spoken vocals it feels darker, full of fuzz and analogue synth.
Digital versions of the release also feature bonus track System Seven Hundred, a menacing groove that builds into a strung-out hypnotic monster... It's less immediate than the title track but potentially has more longevity. It's clear Meecham is trying something a little different here - let's keep an eye on what happens with the album.