Enei returns to Critical with his sophomore LP following up 2012’s excellent debut Machines. Rituals feels very much like a continuation of the themes found on Machines, with perhaps a slightly broader array of tones reflecting the evolution of Enei’s production in the intervening years.
The moody tech which formed so much of his debut LP (and indeed his discography) is still present here on tracks like Bad Proof and Iron Curtain, but there are also a selection of brighter cuts featuring some excellent vocalists. Frank Carter III (who you should recognise from Ivy Lab’s seminal tracks Oblique and Afterthought) turns in a typically deft and soulful performance on the playful, jazzy Moment of Now, while Charlie Brix steps up to the mic for up front roller Homeworld and the darker and more introspective Just One Look.
It wouldn’t be a Critical LP without a few label roster collaborations and these don’t disappoint either. Kasra & DRS get on board for a pessimistic ode to the music industry on Lessons, providing one of the album’s punchiest tracks. Elsewhere Foreign Concept gets involved on the more melodic and contemplative Forgotten Planet, fellow Russian producer Eastcolors joins Enei for the raved up flavours of Jungle Business and neuro badman Mefjus climbs aboard for the typically relentless Dead Space.
Polished and punchy but with more than enough variation to keep things interesting, this is a solid album from a producer at the top of his game. Check out a minimix of the album’s tracks below and hit up the Critical Store to pre-order on your pick of physical and digital formats; the LP drops Friday 4th December.