Some notes for Release readers: Phil is a member of Download and Plateau, he also has released a number of works under his own name as well as being in the phenomenal musical entities Off and Gone and Floatpoint. He releases work every now and then under the moniker of Philth and still finds time to make the odd solo record.
This one, much like his previous albums under his own name, "World's End" and the classic "The Escapist" runs the gamut of techno, electro, ethnic, ambient, house and even shoegaze. This man is not bound to any one style and his fans certainly aren't either.
"4am" is not going to click with many, hence it's limited run of 250 copies but for those it does resonate with and for those who are reading this review, this is an album without limitations. "San Julian" is the style of track which he excels at with it's smoothly rolling beats, fluid programming, graceful melodies and sturdy progressions. Phil is tackling the unknown quite nicely on "4am" and yes, for you fans of the stuttering SubCon style, "Ja Bay" will not disappoint.
It's just that there are so many moods and applicative ranges being re-constituted and burned to the ground that I am so appreciative for. "Voices (In My Head)" shows off some magnificent atmospheric chords which carry the song into the final piece "We're on the Other Side" and trust me by the end of this record, we most certainly are. "The Sign (Existing out of Body)" is a track no club should be without. Once again, I cannot help but think of Holger Flinsch whilst listening to work like this but rather than bewilder his audience with sheer mechanized replication, Western changes it up numerous times within the song, adding hints of dialogue here, fantastic synthetic washes there and basslines which shift in and out of focus at a dizzying rate.
I apparently won't be getting my player back anytime soon, "4am" has a mind of it's own and will exit when it chooses to, my involvement is strictly logistical.