It's been a year since Carnal, their first collaboration, but Cassegrain & Tin Man are back for another round. The trio (Cassegrain is a duo) finds common ground in acid, and seems to find a particular pleasure in molding the telltale 303 sound into rarely heard shapes. Considering Tin Man's Neo Neo Acid LP from last year, which replaced the artist's melancholy vocals (which permeate much of the rest of his catalog) with instrumental dancefloor anthems, High and Low feels like a natural step forward.
Two of the tracks here, "High and Low" and "Sand Maze," could conceivably really arouse crowds at the end of a set. Like their kinetic counterpart "Sex Kit," these pieces are simply constructed with just a kick drum, an acid line, and some spare percussion bouncing around. The music is austere, but both songs masterfully take little hints of tenderness and prolong them, whether it's the cycling, sinewy line that forms the backbone of the title track or the sweet, spaced-out melody of pings in the midst of "Sand Maze"'s throb and plunging main line. Acid is among the most played-out tropes in dance music; it's not a common occurrence to hear it taken anywhere that's genuinely fresh. Cassegrain & Tin Man do the next best thing here, applying it as a sturdy, pervasive emotional glue.