Artwork by Matt Lyne

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  1. Colour Science (feat. Chocola B)
  2. Never Any Gain
  3. Silver Lake
  4. Neutral Buoyancy
  5. Carmine
  6. The Limits and the Lows
  7. The Following Contained (feat. Chocola B)
  8. Kelsey Kerridge
  9. Cameraphone
  10. 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.

Loss by A Taut Line