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8/10 Clinton Staff review, 13 February 2014
Where do they get these names from? The name, the press release, even the sleeve don’t promise all that much but once you get the stylus down there are some pretty sweet sounds coming out of this debut album.
Christian Banks is the man behind the thing and he takes the kind of micro-folktronica of the lies of early Fourtet, Telefon Tel Aviv and Tortoise to produce a swelling drift of a record with lots of attention to detail. Guitars are used nicely in the brew so its not wholly electronic and they blend well with the variety of sounds on offer to create a sweeping summery sound.
Opener ‘Sortd’ has the kind of shuffling jazzy drums and warm bass notes of late Talk Talk and introduces them to a kind of Fennesz like take on warm-tronica (sorry), a delightfully languorous piece, it drifts by like the laziest of lazy summer afternoons. ‘We Build it Up to Tear It Down’ is a more structured piece redolent of the early 2000’s penchant for hazy blends of jazz rock like instrumentation and warm melodic electronica.
There are several fine examples of a mastery of the genre across the record, it looks from the sleeve notes that Banks has utilised real musicians in the music and this gives the music an almost freeform feel. ‘As Long As The Grass Growns and The Water Runs’ is a good example of how seemingly random picking is tied together with a few well chosen bass notes. The penultimate ‘Narrowing Circle’ climaxes superbly with some wild drumming propulsing the track along whilst the guitars build to a kind of post rock style ascension.
Its all been done before of course, but this is a particularly well worked example of what you can achieve by blending real instruments with modernist computer-based composition.
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