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Sequence Brendan Telford , January 28th, 2019 07:56

Midlands any-instrument-so-long-as-it’s-drums band release their euphoric second album

Rattle revere the piquant trance of repetition and groove. The Nottingham duo deal in the ripple effect of the beat, allowing pulsing rhythms to emanate as if of their own will. With Sequence they continue to explore what drums can do – not focusing on technical dexterity or speed so much as the organic tempering, swelling and expulsion of cadence. The four tracks here are determined exercises in unhurried purification. (Each of them apparently “represents” a different drum: snare; floor tom; rack tom; bass drum.) Katharine Eira Brown and Theresa Wrigley face each other as their pared-down kits push arcane rhythms out and pull eddying intonations in. The effect is startlingly euphoric.

Opening track ‘DJ’ places us firmly in the centre of this maelstrom: six minutes of insistent beats, shimmering cymbals and Brown’s echoed coos. Then the spidery rim shots phase out as the choral chords overlap, and the drums coalesce into a calamitous vortex of controlled fury in the final minutes. The way this duo seem to trip and cascade yet still perfectly augment one another is the band’s great strength.

‘Disco’ has a more solid vocals and lyrics, with Brown’s chirping rounded-vowel ululations evocative and soothing. The song makes you move, but in a tranced shuffle and sway; the harmonious cymbal outro comes across like a cacophonous release. ‘Signal’ takes a more sedate groove, with a darkness seeping up through the spaces. ‘The Rocks’ takes us out with hesitant, burbling drums and hi-hat tinkering as Brown repeats “more fool you” over and over, the staccato beats slowly building to a percussive heave, Wrigley’s restlessness taking breathless precedence over Brown’s subtle, hiccupping bass-drum patter.

Nothing feels hashed out in haste or haze; every beat, clatter and hiss is perfectly orchestrated. The recordings sound cavernous – this album envelops you, and everything is in its right place. The beauty of Sequence is how deftly Rattle guide you into a narrow slipstream that somehow ripples out into an infinity.