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Ever since our office promo of the new Holden album turned up it’s never been too far from the office stereo, since it’s one of the rare records that everyone here can agree on - a lengthy voyage of finely detailed analogue synths, stumbling beats and occasionally surprising instrumentation (check out that sax duet in ‘The Caterpillar’s Intervention’!) with so much going on over such a long period of time that I’ve really got my work cut out for me trying to review it despite the fact that (contrary to the usual Norman style) I’ve actually heard it in its entirety several times before.
Comparisons are hard to come up with here, I guess Boards Of Canada are an obvious parallel in places, with his weird watery analogue sounds and muffled, broken textures, sometimes with a strong library feel as in the playfully atmospheric ‘Seven Stars’, but unlike BOC he’s happy to stretch his tracks out rather than bombarding us with vignettes. It’s an album which seems to get better as it goes along, too, with much of the stronger material coming towards the end. The final five or so tracks are all so hypnotically brilliant that I always feel like the record deserves a round of applause when I finally reach the end. It’s a spacious, inventive and involving ride which you’ll want to take over and over. Can’t recommend this album highly enough!
10/10 sue 16th January 2014
LP is amazing - and the service was brilliant, arrived for xmas pressie and Phil was able to change delivery address for me at the last minute so it came to my work address - and arrived next day!, great many thanks
10/10 mabbot 8th June 2013
having been following holden's work closely since he got that mixmag award a few years i've been predicting his imminent HUGENESS to everyone around me ever since. he's well respected already but i think this time i'm gonna be proven right finally. a journalist mate of mine passed a copy of this onto me last week and i've barely played anything else since. it is simply the best record of this year so far, dance or otherwise. it's intelligent, original, it's got sounds on it that shouldn't really exist - that i had no idea were really possible to put into an album. weird tubular sounds and stuff. magic. it's precise as anything - you can tell he's a maths geek. there are about six tunes on here that lay waste to anything else out there at the moment that i know of. the others are merely brilliant. in a few years time people are going to be looking back at this and pointing to it as the album that made james holden epic.
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