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His last album got a mauling by the egg-head brigade for being stuck up a tree meditating whilst wearing falafel and goat cheese sandals and a kaftan, all the while refusing to acknowledge 20+ years of electronic musical progress. I thought it were OK, a bit dull at times with the occasional promising excursion into deep moody sonic territory. This new collaboration is much more satisfying as once again its backbone is woven from a diverse selection of electronic and organic bases. Onwards from the meditative space-jazz of opener 'Bless This Space', collaborator Rick Holland's poetry is given life by a multitude of guest vocalists. The second track sounds well mid-'90s in a good way, like Lionrock being tickled by Jimi Tenor and Tortoise with a brush of the pre-millennial German brigade such as Schneider TM. I love the female voices on their allocated tunes. From the sad-hued piano tinkling and ambience of 'Dream Birds' which is beautifully juxtaposed with a suitably husky vocal from Caroline Wildi through to Elisha Mudly's tender and crisp offering on the eerie astral piece 'The Real', then the sensual and dreamy Laura Spagnuolo on the cinematic classicism of 'Pour it Out'...I'm utterly besotted! Like all his more adventurous albums, he occasionally stitches in World and African influences in a very nuanced fashion. This is a strange album, both unapologetically familiar and remarkably alien, chilled and gently adventurous that will divide opinion but believe me, it is also is a bit of a treasure trove from a true master of mood music!
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