Although the Cornish duo of Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard only released this one proper album as Global Communication, they recorded critically acclaimed work under the Jedi Knights and Reload monikers. They also demonstrated a rare form in this most anonymous of genres: Middleton had worked with Aphex Twin, and Pritchard had been partially responsible for Shaft’s kiddie techno hit “Roobarb & Custard”.

Fortunately, “76 14” is a world apart from such crude novelties. In an act of aesthetic purity that out-Enossifies Eno, even, the tracks are titled after their durations. As they note in the booklet, “Numbers are chosen to identify separate tracks because ‘names’ tend to bias the listener by pre-defining images, places and feelings. This gives the listener the freedom of imagination to derive whatever he/she wishes from the music”. A laudable aim, certainly, but it also shrouds the whole enterprise in a potentially alienating, antiseptic air, and certainly makes collective discussion of a track’s merits more difficult than it might have otherwise been.

At its best, “76 14” - a title that, incidentally, doesn’t appear in traditional script on the cover, although I’m willing to bet it’s contained in the dots and dashes of Morse code that pepper the packaging – works on an almost subliminal level, winding gentle electronic melody around found sounds, for example the pendulum percussion and distant crashing breakers of “14 31”. There’s a rude awakening on “9 25” when a drum machine jackhammers into the liquid pastoral: The Orb were rather more adept at mixing beats and breezes. Global Communication’s music is also strongly reminiscent of early Irresistible Force, evoking the same sense of balmy stasis, and both the “Meddle”-esque cover and the sonar blips that punctuate “9 39” a la “Echoes” are a bit of a giveaway!

The slightly clumping beats of “7 39” date it, its melodic eccentricity making for the kind of tune that either clicks immediately or else you spend its entirety trying to work out where the musical phrases start and end (Sting’s version of “Shadows In The Rain” being another track that catches me off-guard like that). The brief fragment “0 54” suggests Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s pioneering short wave and sampler experiments on the “Dazzle Ships” album, but “8 07” and “5 23” show their age in a way that the softer sounds of Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works 85-92” or Eno’s ambient works don’t, being pleasant but a little overinsistent. The closing “12 18”, though, is possibly the album’s masterstroke, wherein the music finally attains a measure of the downy softness its spent the last hour aspiring to. Heck, it could be the Lamia’s siren song reverberating in a vast cathedral of sound. And how many albums can you say that about?