ALBUM WARP RELEASE: SEPTEMBER
22, 2003 REVIEW: NOVEMBER 2, 2003
been seven years since LFO last released an album. During those years
Mark Bell, the sole LFO member since Gez Varley left the band, has produced
the great Björk albums “Homogenic” and “Selma Songs”
as well as Depeche Mode’s sleeping pill “Exciter”. He’s
apparently also found the time to work on some music of his own, which
has now found its way onto a new LFO album.
"Sheath" doesn’t really bring any surprises. The sound
is still firmly rooted in old Detroit techno; sparse and at times rather
sends out huge jolts of electricity through the speakers, and "Snot"
displays equally electrified sounds over a monotonous bassline that would
have sounded amateurish in any other context. Single "Freak"
is almost ridiculously stripped-down, but still funky as hell, with rhythms
that sound like old mechanical devices. There are also moments of shimmering,
ambient beauty here, like opening track "Blown".
"Sheath" is far from the breathtaking highs of “Homogenic”,
but I suspect that if Mark Bell had brought a track like "Mum-Man"
along to the "Exciter" sessions it would have proved capable
to electro-shock even that album to life.