Welcome to the first new work from the Sybarite project in a full decade. Waver The Absolute wastes no time in getting things moving again, jumping out with fat waves of static. Then we slip into a classic flurry of warm hazy dancing electronics to lose the mind and body in. Released by Temporary Residence: the vinyl version features two extra tracks.
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Sybarite aka Xian Hawkins is back after a full decade. Yes, it’s true. How did we manage without him all that time? The album opens with a wall of noise and static, but behind this lurks… a danceable electronic groove! ‘Valence’ is a sparkling tune of the type that Caribou once upon a time might have made. And the loops and drum combinations on the album’s title track put me in mind of Four Tet but it’s a light confection with a playfulness and melodic strength that compares more closely to something Nils Frahm might do. Hmm. ‘Waver The Absolute’ is confusing me a little.
‘Look Ahead See Behind’ begins with a hypnotic groove and glitchy beats that break down into splintered strings and builds back up again to get your head nodding. There’s a repetitive glockenspiel motif running through the fuzzy haze on ‘Mosquito Theme’. What sounds like mechanical cogs whirr and click amidst the cut-up beats and warm pads on ‘Open Secret’. We’re back in ‘Rounds’ era Kieran Hebden again. The throbbing electronics and synth stabs are kinda nice.
‘The Children’ presents another surprise. Simple acoustic guitar melody is looped while twinkling toy casio keyboard plinks away in tandem to create something pleasant and redolent of my long lost childhood. Hauntology hiding in plain sight, or amidst the noise of ensuing tracks ‘Hold The Phone’ with its bleeps, bloops and vocal samples combined attractively and addictively with crunchy beats; the shuffling, melodic textures of ‘Daft Shaft’ and sumptuousness in ‘Ornamental Hermit’. Welcome back.
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