Review: TML – Machine Bias

The Waveform Transmitter’s veteran crate-digger, Simon Huxtable, takes a listen to the scuzzy lo-fi genius and swinging rhythms of TML on Hotflush Recordings, out now.

Electronic dance music was always supposed to be a bit raw. Indeed, the happy accident of the TB-303 creating that classic acid sound was after the hardware unit was abused to death, completely working against its actual purpose. So, when I heard lo-fi tracks like this wonderful 4-track EP by Minneapolis-based TML on an in-form Hotflush Recordings, my heart skips a beat. 

Launched back in 2003 by the relatively unknown Paul Rose (Scuba), it was originally a credible output for the burgeoning London Bass scene. In more recent times, and as Scuba’s tastes and profile have altered, he’s released more techno. ‘Machine Bias’ is no exception. Brutal at times, it’s beauty is more than skin-deep and reminds this old raver of the pre-Jump Up Dubstep wild west we had in Bristol. 

‘Cell ID’ is a proper lo-fi percussive workout. Scattergun hats, nails hard breakbeats and an acid line from Hell ensure this is one track sure to scare the shit out of the neighbours. Play FUCKING LOUD! Continuing the theme is the AphexTwin-off-his-tits ‘B2B’; a spiky blend of jittery vocals, swung snare rhythms and fierce acid nuances. More po-faced than ‘Cell ID’, but equally well produced. 

‘Human’ opens with a cold synth pad totally altering the vibe. Developing slowly over a heavily overdriven kick its aloofness actually soothes and comforts. TML (or Pete, to his mates) really is the king of simplicity but, in spite of that, his work has a depth seldom achieved but a great many. Rounding out the pack is the poly-rhythmic acid house stylings of New York City’s Justin Cudmore, who remixes ‘RHU’. Growing uncomfortably claustrophobic, the break is a welcome release before the track reaches its wall of sound conclusion.

TML – ‘Machine Bias’, is available now at all good digital music stores. Listen to a preview of the tracks, below.


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