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World's Leading Terrorist State
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Block N Oar
From The Outside
Home To An Empty House
Laroche & Dolson
Fairly Tall Tails
Between Two Logs
stands alone -- offering a kind of closure to previous compilations conceived by Ai records, it's not so much a concept album, more of an attitude --
as a place leading somewhere new, motion and stasis, at once urban and yet suggesting other destinations, new locations. A truly international base of artists bless each track with unique musical criteria and direction -- from urban mind funk through electro to purest pop. Ai's typical attention to graphic detail brings the sleeve's hexagonal patterns into allusive focus -- in the detuned melodies of Welk from Steve Hyland's 'Normal' and Praveen's 'Small Clues' -- evidence of a generation reared on the shamanic pastoralism of the Boards of Canada. However, we've learnt to expect diverse terrain from Ai -- the label's EP stars of 2003 continue to develop their sound -- Yellotone's Simon Harding drops the Channel One influenced digital steppa 'Dubbly More', while Michael Manning runs it down with some Bola-esque percussive voodoo. From the new recruits there's classic pop too -- West Australian Pablo Dali offers pristine indie-tronic strums and sways, from comparative Swiss veterans Sinner Dc -- a vocal tune with strings and a stroboscopic psychedelic purity to entrance and rescue early Air fans. From Italy, Tin-Tole-Lata blur the divide between electronic and acoustic with aplomb, dreamlike melodies play over crisp beats. Icelander's Traject -- now signed to the super-cool Spezial material imprint -- traverses a glacial, isolated place. Intonamori provides an unguent, welcoming lullaby for the synapses, while Ascoltare and Sofalofa achieve great things with chiming melodic vibes and deep acoustic drums, processed in their own inimitable style. Its left to Ai's own Puerto Rican-Miami connection, Chris Roman's 214 project to bring the boom to this album -- reared on classic bass, and it really shows. From The Outside asks listeners to submit to the get on down and party with a dose of classic Detroit inflection. Plain to see why Microlux have snapped up his debut album.
provides a sense of the diversity this critically lauded label has made its watchword, never content with mere stasis -- looking ahead for the next destination with what may be termed wanderlust. A concentrated dose of the right stuff."
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