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World's Leading Terrorist State
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Into Our Midst
return swiftly on the back of 2010's critically-lauded self-titled debut, an album that picked up
's coveted "Electronic Album Of The Year," featured in
's end-of-year lists, not to mention winning fans such as
and impressing U.S. trio
. Yet it isn't these admittedly impressive accolades that make the announcement of second LP
such an anticipated one; what makes Walls so alluring is the fully-immersive experience of their mellifluous electronica -- reaching out far and wide to pull influences sonic, emotional and theoretical together into patterns of blissful phantasmagoria. Taking their debut as the prototype, Willis and Natalizia have taken those initial early-sunrise evocations and pushed them to even more grandiose expanse.
also takes a more dance-oriented stance, the soft-edged rhythms of ambient combining with influences from the protean Detroit techno and Chicago house music of
et al., to propel the likes of opener "Into Our Midst" and lead-off single "Sunporch" forth. Sonic shapes often collide in slow motion, while a greater usage of guitars and pedals -- twisted to push the instruments beyond their comfort zone -- have further cemented links to Krautrock (
) and shoegaze (
). At times aural ideas bleed together, sometimes one pushing the other into the background, elsewhere combining to morph into something new. Tracks like "Vacant" and "Drunken Galleon" glimmer with the sense of voyages not entirely known, the former shimmering and shaking as though ready for take-off, the latter's introductory keyboards tiptoeing naively, like an explorer feeling their way amidst freshly discovered surroundings. There's no sense of a directed level at which we the listener should respond to their music, so long as we can connect with it -- indeed, for a group whose most obvious tools remain electronic machines and samplers, theirs is a sound that could hardly sound more human. This open-ended approach is inspired by the ideas of German film director
-- the track "Ecstatic Truth" is named after his talk on the subject.
is cerebrally-created music, but it's a work that hasn't been allowed to escape the more impulsive -- and yet in many cases more complicated -- spectrum of human emotion imbued in it first. It's an album that connects on the most satisfying and accessible level, as the pair say: "we learned to trust the goosebumps that we've both felt throughout making this record;" they won't be alone in experiencing such spine-tingling reactions.
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