- Colour Science (feat. Chocola B)
- Never Any Gain
- Silver Lake
- Neutral Buoyancy
- The Limits and the Lows
- The Following Contained (feat. Chocola B)
- Kelsey Kerridge
- Chakka (feat. Chocola B)
Never Any Gain is the fifth album from Tokyo-based artist, creative director, and Diskotopia co-founder Matt Lyne under his A Taut Line moniker, following on from last year’s critically acclaimed full-length Loss.
Initially conceived as a yin to Loss’s yang before shaping its own creative path, Never Any Gain shares a lot of dualism with its predecessor. Shoko Sasano returns as a guest vocalist, but this time loaning her airy Japanese-language melodies to three tracks. Author Thomas Kendall has once again contributed his writing talents, penning the spoken-word lyrics of the title track.
Never Any Gain marks a decade after the debut A Taut Line album Nitriding Portrait, and thematically the album is about a general lack of humanitarian progress manifesting into a personal mental stagnation amidst all the potentially terrifying technological advancements over the last ten years.
Stylistically, however, there is a strong sense of renewal and reinvention throughout the LP. While there is a firm expression of the musical heritage of Lyne’s birth town Bristol — hinted at in places on Loss — a new kind of soul-searching can be heard in the disorientated fourth-world trademark A Taut Line sound. Mutant and contorted elements of dub techno, deep house, electro, trip-hop, post-punk, lounge, and garage can be found in unique juxtapositions across the ten tracks, while opener Colour Science fuses Japanese environmental-music ambient, 90s British electronica, and 80s 4AD output all at once.
Possibly the most accomplished and accessible A Taut Line material to date — a look back over the last ten years of albums and their influences while marking a shift into a new direction.