Two years on from releasing Mark E's debut album Stone Breaker, US imprint Ghostly International, under its offshoot Spectral Sound, now unleashes the Birmingham producer's impressive sophomore LP, Product Of Industry.
The record's title is a pointer towards Mark E's upbringing in the West Midlands and the social impact that industry and its subsequent decline had on the area. Mark E says his grandparents were truck drivers and sheet metal workers and that the title is about how things have changed, leading him to try out music, so making him a product of industry.
Yet the title also finds a nice fit with the record's grinding, continuous, heavy and relentless sound, as well as Mark E's move towards the use of analogue gear during the production process. Whereas Stone Breaker was made entirely digitally, Product Of Industry relies on classic analogue synths, a measure that adds both warm and humility to that industrial edge.
The chugging, hypnotic nature of the music itself conjures up the image of industrial machines powering on through the night, but it is Mark E's ability to line that with soulful and delicate touches that makes Product Of Industry really stand out. This is the West Midlands cousin to Chicago House and never before has UK industry sounded so good.
4.5 out of 5