In their new EP entitled 'Numbers', PUBLIC WORKS logs their second release, their first since 1997's 'Matter' (Staalplaat). The group debuted with the latter title, exhibiting a markedly different sound and temperament from the Tape-beatles, from whose ranks Public Works sprang. 'Numbers' follows the release of the Tape-beatles' 1999 CD 'Good Times' (Staalplaat), in which both members of Public Works participated.
With regard to 'Numbers', a few key observations can be made. Intuition, it seems clear, reaches conclusions that logic cannot. The same can be said of Public Works' manner of working. The strength of 'Numbers' lies in its ability to invoke draughts of apparently coded meaning, without necessarily rendering these too clearly; as if to say that in excessive amounts, clarity can serve to stifle the full development of intellectual flavor, presenting a less rounded impression of the form and volume occupied by the phenomenon in question. What better, indeed clearer, way is there to encapsulate the essence of the humankind's contemporary predicament? We know so much, and yet so little. We are masters of minutiae, and slaves to an ignorance of its ramifying effects. And further, it has always been like that!
'Numbers' finds mysteries in the playful particles that turn the ossified intentions of humans (their machines) toward unexplainable flights of poetry. It is as if the airwaves are alive, breathing ghostly voices. It is as if the electrical grid throbs with intelligence, its organs and circulatory systems negotiating remarkable levels of complexity and touching everyone. It is a hesitant affirmation that mathematics and magic are one and the same. By shaping mechanisms that capture thought, one gets the sense that a supernatural transubstantiation of intellectual energies is taking place. We can easily imagine that some excess heat leaks out of this process and accounts for otherwise unexplained -- perhaps unexplainable -- phenomena. We don't know, and we don't aim, really, to find out. Instead, we present our sonic impressions of the landscape we dimly see in our more lucid moments. Ultimately, this may be the best way to get close to it and sense its contours, and even understand it better.
And, like the music, if these words become too precise, then their significance begins to fade.
Special 9" record on transparent vinyl in an edition of 800 copies.
Packaged in beautiful full-color heavy paper sleeves.