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Ever since the promo of this turned up in the office a couple of weeks back I've been well excited about this one dropping, and I'll most certainly be taking the vinyl home with me tonight. You'll know Johann Johannsson best as Iceland's leading minimal composer, but on this here record he's playing with four (and not three as one might naturally assume) of his friends. These guys are crazy. Four synth players and a drummer, they obsessively collect synthesisers to add to their arsenal of live sounds, and they don't use sequencers or computers - every note on this record was played live on a keyboard! The live drums give it awesome momentum in a Trans Am-ish kind of way, but the brightness of the tones and the brazen chirpiness of the melodies brings to mind Daft Punk's more inspired moments. This is a band who have apparently been influenced by both Kraftwerk and Motorhead, a bold claim which seems to be borne out by the pulsating synth-rock of Pentatronik which is bringing to mind underrated Scots Kling Klang. There's another rock-out in 'Sirius Alfa' that brings to mind the underexposed modern day midi genius that is Iron Pirate. This album is mostly instrumental and when there are vocals they're all processed and vocoded, much like the vocals on the aforementioned TA's recently-reissued 'Futureworld'. If you're already a fan of Johannsson's work as a composer then this album will surprise and delight you, discarding his serious and beautiful atmospheres with a huge great chunk of lovingly-constructed synthpop fun. I've heard that these guys have people on the inside in their local rubbish dumps to inform them when someone disposes of a synthesiser, so seriously do they take their art. Rarely is such care and attention mixed with such childlike bombast. I love this record.
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