By Elizabeth Wells

The philosophy behind Douglas Benford's 4th si-cut.db album is a fascinating one. Apparently constructed partly from samples of woodwork noises, shavings, turning processes and planings, Enthusiast bridges the divide (if there is such a thing) between micro rhythms and carpentry. Certainly this is a multi-textured journey and the percussive glitches, scrapes and sawing noises all add variety to the dubby electronic soup on offer. In fact these rhythmic scratchings and mutterings which increase in volume then die away according to the whim of the tracks, make wonderful listening, and you can't help but think Benford hit on a great idea here which never quite reached its potential. The trouble is that he can occasionally still be heavy-handed with the instrumentation (pianos, bass), which with dub tends to be a bit overpowering anyway. Dub is obviously the medium Benford favours to explore the nature of texture and particular sound collisions, but to remain interesting it needs to retain the variety that Benford delivers more on tracks such as Local Colour and Vistas: a restrained, beatless kaleidoscope of echoey glitches and textures, which works really well.

A fan of his more conceptual pieces since his former incarnation Media Form's Beauty Reports (1994), I like this new direction Benford has taken: partly a continuation on from last year's Tennis collaboration, but also a movement away from conventional dub-sourced electronica into more arcane soundscapes.
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