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  • Release Date 2012-11-19
  • Label Broken20
  • Catalog B2010
Production Unit (aka Dave Donnelly)'s album was supposed to be on tape. It was composed as two sides of blended music comprised of individual tracks with strong common themes, but the crisp highs and deep lows caused label boss TVO to put his foot down, demanding a digital-only format that allowed the precision to sing. This mirrors the way the album itself evolved organically: 'Each track is a remix of its preceding track,' writes the artist. 'I was trying to figure out a way of building a narrative, and of glueing the whole thing together sonically, and this seemed liked the perfect way to do both. As a result I think it flows, and that was important: not just to curate a collection of tracks but to chart the progression of an idea.' That idea is explained by the track titles of each side: 'There Are No Shortcuts In A Grid System', evoking notions of learning one's craft and understanding a pattern; 'There Is No Grid', suggesting that in order to step outside the system one must first know it, much as an abstract painter studies form before depicting expressionist ideals. Sonically there's a touch more bombast in the first half, a sense of surety that the latter portion lacks as it melts into unquantised, detuned sonics. The original self-imposed remit was a melding of the squashed and degraded hip hop of Req with the clean jitters of Mark Fell, but 'I was quickly also haunted by spectres of Workshop records, Boards of Canada and Coil. I'm happy nowadays for a remit to slip like that; what's important is that the sound of me comes out, regardless of whether it tallies with an artificial idea I might have had at some point, let alone an idea of my music that someone else has. There's no point in tying yourself in knots over constructs.' Fans of the austere bleepy techno of Production Unit's prior release, the well-received 'ICU Tracks' on Broken20, will do well to take heed of this new-found bravado, but Donnelly is unapologetic: 'I don't own anybody's ears and nobody owns my brain.' Played and charted by the likes of The Black Dog, Shifted, Paul Woolford, The Wire Magazine and Cassegrain, it found Donnelly a new audience that may be surprised by the bedraggled click-hop of his latest efforts. After twin opening...


There Are No Shortcuts in a Grid System