There's a real aesthetic quality to Jane Weaver's The Architect EP. It's bold and it's brutalist, with unwavering conviction and - when required - an eye for detail, contrast and restraint.
It's drawn from her influences - she cites 'Hilma af Klint’s séances, spiritualism and abstract paintings'. It's also present in lead single 'The Architect', a track that features geometric aural patterns, punctuated by unwavering synth symmetry.
And this aestheticism saturates all the way through to the artwork on the cover, which undeniably references 'Metropolis' in its brutal lines, industrial textures and art deco curvature.
The EP features a remix from long-time collaborator Andy Votel, in which the high-tension electronica is dialled up. Oscillating industrial noises form much of its taut landscape.
The idea of the architect as a scientific creative is an apt expression what's going on. It's experimental yet rigorous, playing around at the intersection of precision methodology and Avant-garde sensibilities.
'Element' is full of swirling fluctuations. Low-key chanting converges with stripped-backed beats in a subtly forceful manner, like a tidal swell. Over nearly eight minutes, Weaver turns the screw, layering up and then pulling back her carefully collaged sounds in a game of hide and reveal.
'Code' is a three-minute hymn doesn't have the harder edges of the rest of the EP. With just a suggestion of instrumentation, Weaver builds up ancient-sounding vocals, which teeter on the verge of lyrics, but never quite spill over into words. Instead, her choral vowel sounds paint an emotive, if ambiguous, picture. She sounds as if she might be in a cave somewhere.
As an EP, The Architect is a development on her acclaimed recent album Modern Kosmology in as much as it picks one specific strand of textural exploration, and explores it fully. It is specific, and concentrated and acute, and whole.
8Lucy Holt's Score