Bent

Programmed to Love

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    8
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Much respected on their native English soil, while virtually unknown outside of dance circles elsewhere, Bent traffics in the sort of mid-tempo beats and well-sculpted, chilled atmospheres attributed to many French techno-heads. Differing slightly from the U.K. version of this release, this track listing still includes the gorgeous "Swollen," a Sade sound-alike piece that makes you wonder why they didn't hunt down the original in hopes of possibly scoring a worldwide smash. The experiment, however, falls a little flatter on "Private Road," but only because the melody lacks similar muscle. Kudos are to be given for the vocoder-laden "Cylons in Love" and the wonderfully reconfigured Ernesto Lecuona piece, "Always." Though not every track may manage the allure of the aforementioned, the skill and imagination employed (as on the sample-heavy "Exercise 1," for example) make this a more-than-enjoyable release throughout.

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