In comparison to its first two years, Numbers has had an uncharacteristically quiet one, having only released three records so far. It’s no secret that the entire Numbers crew are huge proponents of techno; many of their roots and crates are saturated in it, espcially the Detroit variety. If audible proof of how deep their knowledge goes is required, all you need to do is re-visit their “Detroit Special” Rinse FM show. For their third record of the year they’ve decided to reissue a Glasgow-meets-Detroit classic from Unspecified Enemies. According to Discogs, the duo only has one record to their name, called “Multi Ordinal Tracking Unit.” The reissue of the same name includes the title track and three previously unreleased selections including a remix by Louis Digital, one-half of Unspecified Enemies, as City of Quartz.
It’s difficult to picture these tracks coming from anywhere other than Detroit, but they came close to fooling us. “Multi Ordinal Tracking Unit” leans on subtle changes such as bars repeating and hi-hats stammering over each other. For the mostpart it’s five minutes of a one-bar loop, which on paper may sound uninteresting, but the sheer amount of energy coming from the machines is palpable. The duo reverses, loops, and edits so naturally that it’s basically the manifestation of the oft-mentioned human soul versus machine effect. City of Quartz’s remix of “MOTU” douses the original in synthetic chaos as harsh bass notes mimic the tone and placement of the kickdrum. The original source is slightly audible underneath the layers of synths and many beat repeats. This remix packs less of the restrained energy of the original, instead opting for sonic chaos. That chaos runs rampant until the last few minutes when he steers it into space-like and bleep filled improvisation.
Stream: Unspecified Enemies – Multi Ordinal Tracking Unit (NMBRS22)
“Bellona, I Do Mind Dying”, the first of the bonus digital tracks, is slightly more appealing to our ears than the first two with its dynamic range. From the beginning, it has a muddy and all-encompassing low end that commands attention; heads will definitely lift up when this is played. The balance of brash elements with fuzzy synths and bells equalizes the mix in the same way a bitter bite complements a sweet one. “Insurgency Soul” is a bit different and for the most part unexpected after three straight shooters. There’s a bit more funk than we bargained for, which is a welcome surprise. Honestly, it reminds us of Jimmy Edgar’s “Color Strip” full-length with its moog-esque bass tones, wispy synths, and indistinguishable voices. The laidback, seaside feeling of this cut ends the EP on the perfect note. This is a relatively varied EP and one of Numbers’ best releases. Any fans of Underground Resistance, DJ Bone, or Kenny Larkin should take notice.
Stream: Unspecified Enemies – Insurgency Soul (NMBRS22)
Unspecified Enemies’s Multi Ordinal Tracking Unit is available now on Numbers.