Exclusive: Machines in Heaven – Hindu Milk EP (4 stars)

Listen to the band's new EP via our exclusive preview

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Machines in Heaven – Hindu Milk EP

(Hotgem Tunes)

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to give praise for those machines which art in heaven – when they’re not assuming the earthly guise of three blokes abiding in Glasgow, that is. Let us join in offering thanks for their retro-futurist digital gospel. They sound like angels, techno-style.

Machines in Heaven – or Davey Gwynne (production, guitar, synths, vocals), Greg Hurst (production, synths) and Connor Reid (production, guitar synths) as they are known in their mortal incarnations – are set to release their excellent second EP, Hindu Milk, on November 14, but fear not if your patience is fried: you can listen to it upfront and exclusively on this very page, right now.

Citing influences from Young Fathers through Kraftwerk to Daniel Avery, Hindu Milk kicks off in the style of its ace 2013 predecessor The Glasgow Jihad EP (Black Lantern). ‘Edge of the Middle’ is all menacing riffage, Herculean beats and neon grooves; the shimmering tech-funk of ‘Voodoo Mechanics’ is equal parts Prince, Aphex Twin and Tangerine Dream; and overall, the EP furthers the intrepid trio’s knack for unleashing driving, brooding tech-pop, shot right through with hooks and melodies.

There are bright surprises herein, too: not least the glorious astral-chorale of ‘Feel Slow’, whose pitch-shifting vocals and driving melancholy evokes the upbeat electro-chanson of Hot Chip or ‘Need To Hang Around’-era Barbara Morgenstern. And (processed) vocals, too, take centre-stage on the title track – a swoon-inducing robot-aria that variously evokes Schneider TM and Alpinestars’ 2000 electro-gem, '77 Sunset Strip’. (Whatever happened to them?)

They’re well-clad when it comes to maximalism, but they’re equally adept at stripping bare, as attested by the closing track, whose gradual progression from ambient minimalism to celestial soul is a joy to behold as it rises to the heavens. It’s entitled, naturally, ‘Holy Particles’ (batman). Amen to that.

Hindu Milk EP is out on Fri 14 Nov from Hotgem.

Machines In Heaven - Feel Slow (live on BBC Radio Scotland)

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