Not surprisingly, Noah Anthony's inaugural 12-inch under his Profligate moniker is geared more towards dance floor demands than his stridently exploratory debut album, Come Follow Me (released just a month prior). The release sees the producer jettisoning the noise and drone aspects of his sound, concentrating instead on combining classic EBM and modern dark techno.
Of the plate's two tracks it's "Videotape" that most exudes EBM's brooding muscularity. Moreover, its base components (military march-n-shuffle, iridescent strings, chunky synth jabs, lurching bass) are straight-up monolithic. Yet the crafty ways in which Anthony manipulates each one's textural character allows them to gel gracefully into a throbbing, heaving industrial symphony-in-miniature. Particularly arresting is the decay-verses-growth contrast between the kick—colossal if crumbly, always flirting with implosion—and those strings, which blossom into dub-drenched fractals.
"Conditioning Trench" comes replete with hyper-brittle hand claps, silkily automated oscillations, whiplash snares and Teutonic murmurings that would make D.A.F.'s Gabi Delgado-López proud. As the track progresses, it mutates from icy monochrome to luxuriant technicolor, with throwback lasers (as well as a clutch of sweetly flavored synth-effects imported from Italo) multiplying and darting about the soundscape. Videotape marks Profligate as a name to be reckoned with—one who deserves mentioning alongside fellow dystopian heavies Vatican Shadow and Silent Servant.