Shedding the gritty field recordings and much of the textural soundscapes which characterized his well-regarded debut (2010's Tourist EP), Seams returns to the Pictures imprint with two songs sharply focused on the dancefloor.
Although composed from virtually the same source material, "Focus Energy" and "Motive Order" are two considerably different songs, not only in the identifiable melodies and movements, but also in their varied tempo and feel. Beginning with a layer of string-like plucks, "Focus Energy" gradually builds to become an immensely dense layering of syncopated synth lines, driven by a 16th-note bass pattern and beautifully chopped female vocal "oohs" and "aahs." The whole affair is pushed forward by its well-executed arrangement, which results from Seams' delicate piling and peeling away of elements and subtle tweaking of rhythms as the track moves. "Motive Order" is a much more brooding culmination of Seams' chosen sound palette, picking up the tempo to 130-plus bpm while revealing more of the UK producer's penchant for delicate sounds. Lead by an intensely strict arpeggiator, the b-side is also slow to build, but this time a flurry of tiny lo-fi loops pool together below the surface before the track eventually explodes into an inescapable rush of textured techno.
It's been said that the inspiration for this single came from "a desire to make audiences dance at his live shows," and with these songs in hand, he is likely to suceed. But it is not simply the fact that "Focus Energy" and "Motive Order" are more dance worthy that makes them impressive, it is also the distinct way in which Seams has expanded his sound, landing these tunes somewhere along the lines of the super-energized works of The Field, or perhaps a more machine-oriented Four Tet, all the while keeping traces of his own style intact.