James Devane
Beauty is Useless
Umeboshi Records
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1In Your Time 4:55
2Can't Be Here 4:17
3Sudden Oak Death 3:18
4Somatic Marker 5:36
5Orange and Tan 3:59
6Bygone Trouble 4:30
7Fences In 3:57
8Beauty is Useless 5:00
9Operationes Spirituales 4:53

Though Beauty is Useless is only his second solo record, James Devane has been producing and performing music for over two decades, both in isolation and collaboratively (most notably as his duo "En" with Maxwell August Croy). While his first record (s/t on Bremsstrahlung) explored digital manipulation of guitar based loops, Beauty finds Devane replacing the computer processing and aural landscape projection for a couple vintage keyboards, modular based effects and most notably a drum machine. Evoking elements of German minimal techno, Beauty is a rich, focused discovery of process and restraint where less is refreshingly more.

Umeboshi is A new record label run by former Root Strata co-principal and Empire of Signs co-founder Maxwell August Croy. The umeboshi (梅干, pickled plum) is a staple of the Japanese diet. Among various effects, it's believed to have antibacterial properties, acts as an ageing suppressant and was a common inclusion in a samurai's field ration. Brined in acid, steeped in tradition, rendering life more digestible and not just bitter fruit.