Great debut from Jeff McIlwain. Reminds me a lot of early Autechre. The structures of the tracks are very apparent. You can hear l'Usine simply mute / unmute patterns most of the time but still, still the album works. It seems like it was made with a tracker-program (or could have been). McIlwain's trademark so far are weird, incomplete patterns that open his tracks and then 'big tadaaa!' he adds the final magic ingredient and the track starts off on his/her own. Perhaps the album was made a bit overly transparent, but the tracks are worthwhile that's what really counts (Half of this album ranks amongst the best of the entire genre). Very promising debut to say the least. Out of all Autechre-'followers' the most talented yet to arise (Arovane was lucky to move forward with the Boards of Canada inspired 'Tides').
As a sidenote: I've also seen Jeff perform 'live' (well, playing premade patterns from his laptop in CC Luchtbal - Belgium) and it was ALL new stuff he had made in the last two years. What he played there has yet to be released, but I absolutely loved every part of it. It was way more ambituous and 'orchestrally inspired' (think Philip Glass). So, stay tuned for his second full length**, this guy is gonna be HUGE!
**He has also released some EP's, but so far those were rather disappointing, living neither up to the promise of this debut or the quality of the performance I witnessed. But nevertheless I remain a firm believer!! Go Jeff!!! 8.5/10 (July 2001)