Hindu Milk is Machines In Heaven's first release since their outstanding debut album bordersbreakdown. Since that album came out, the band's reputation has grown and grown, so much so that the NME recently pointed them out as one to watch from Glasgow's impressive music scene. With the release of Hindu Milk (released 14 November on Hotgem), the band are surely destined to take a significant leap forward and it is only a matter of time until Machines In Heaven become a very important band, not only in the Scottish music world, but in the rest of the UK and beyond.
The e.p. itself is a real progression from their debut album. Whereas bordersbreakdown mixed acoustic sounds with waves of noise and pummeling bass, all five tracks here have a cleaner more focused sound and at points are genuine pop songs. The choice of Edge Of The Middle as the e.p's opener is a clever one as it acts like a transition from bordersbreakdown to the new songs, taking the controlled noise chaos of the album, in this instance some Aphex Twin like breaks, and mixing it with some wonderful electronics. It's a great start to the e.p. and really sets the scene. Track 2 is the title track of the e.p. and is one of two absolute blow your mind standout tracks here. Hindu Milk comes across like a Kraftwerk gone pop, mixing the clean electronics of Computer World with a lead melody that is pure syntpop genius. As if that's not enough, at 2 mins 32 seconds in you're hit with some vocodered vocals that are simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking. It's a stupendously good track and you simply have to hear it.
Next up is Voodoo Mechanics, which it is no exaggeration to say, has the electronic pulse of Depeche Mode at their Violator peak. As you're no doubt aware from 90% of the content of this blog, there is a certain Depeche bias at play here but, genuinely, and please go and listen if you don't believe me, Voodoo Mechanics shares its' DNA with Violator and given that Violator is the single greatest thing in the history of music, that is no bad thing at all. Throw in the New Order style, or dare I say latter day Depeche style guitars towards the end and you have something very special indeed.
If Hindu Milk is Kraftwerk go pop, the track 4 Feel Slow is Machines In Heaven go pop. It's bloody marvellous and deserves to be a solid gold chart smash pop fans. Starting off with more wonderfully crisp electronics, a pusling bassline and what sounds like a distorted version of Chopsticks, the track builds and builds before Davey's vocals are unleashed and you're transported to Planet Synthpop, which is a very nice place to be. This, I think, is a first for Machines In Heaven as most of their vocals to date have been through a vocoder but the use of Davey's vocals here really enhance the track. It's available as a free download prior to the e.p's release and I urge you to get it. When electronic music of this quality is produced, it would be foolish not to listen in.
The final track on the e.p. is another wonderful electronic piece called Holy Particles which twists and turns through its' seven minutes building from an almost ambient start to the sort of track Orbital did back in the days when they were untouchable. It's great and you can already see being a star track at tents full of people at next year's festivals.
I could obviously have saved you a good bit of time if my review has just said "The new Machines In Heaven e.p. Hindu Milk is unbelievably good and you have to buy it" but what would be the point in that? This is music so good that you want to listen to it, tell people how good it is, then listen to it again and again. I'm trying not to going over the score, but this is genuinely some of the best electronic music I've heard in a long time. The Machines have gone pop and in doing so, the Machines have won. Give in to them now.
Go here for a free download of Feel Slow http://www.redbullstudios.com/london/recordings/feel-slow
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