Theodore & Hamblin

The Scientific Contrast

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Like much else that was once strangely innovative, low-key electronic glitch production and musical pieces are now part of a larger musical lingua franca, one that the German duo of Kibbee Theodore and Bernd Hamblin are happy to work with on their debut full-length. The Scientific Contrast pulses with nervous, skittering energy and drifts with extended textures and tones, some so minimal it's often hard to note where exactly a song starts ("Balmpe" in particular almost sounds like it's initially murmuring up from somewhere below floor level). While not the end of the world, it's nice to hear an album that could soundtrack a gently emotional movie somewhere without being either a Wes Anderson fetish piece or a band inspired by a Wes Anderson film. The soft bell-like melody of "Lelm" and the skipping sweetness of "Reico" are among the highlights, and if the album ultimately is a little too low-impact to be thoroughly memorable, it's still a good listen for those inclined to this variety of music.

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