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Here’s the debut album from the new supergroup on the block, Atoms For Peace, featuring in their ranks Radiohead Thom Yorke, Chili Pepper and Big Lebowski star Flea, producer to the stars Nigel Godrich, and a couple of hired gun percussionists with CVs as long as your arm in Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. Now Flea was already involved in the third-most-impressive unlikely collaboration of last year when he did that Rocket Juice & The Moon thing with Damian Allbran and Tony Allen, so I have high hopes for this one too, buoyed by the fact that teaser single ‘Default’ was genuinely impressive.
“Get on and tell us what it sounds like then,” I hear you cry. Well, they’re doing a dark, drifty techno thing that falls somewhere between Radiohead and Burial and Fourtet, with some measured crooning from Yorke in his trademark falsetto, the bass is rich and boomy and restrained, and there are relaxed but busy polyrhythms flying around in the background. It’s really assured, danceable stuff with dark, silky melodies which are minimal enough to let the complex interwoven computerised and live rhythms take centre stage, with little melodic details like the subtle brass swells of ‘Unless’ filling out the sound. It’s a really confident, enjoyable record, to be honest. These guys are true pros.
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