Two Agents

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While Signaldrift had already released a number of efforts as a solo project by Franz Buchholtz, the appropriately titled Two Agents showcases the debut of the group as a duo with the addition of John Goelzer. As such, it's a pretty slick and enjoyable blast of electronic dance music that almost sounds like it should be something from a duo from Europe in the wake of acts like Daft Punk, Justice, Motor, and others. This isn't a half-hearted embrace of the beat, this is all about the beat, and what can be done with it, with the squelching bass and four-to-the-floor crispness of "Taking Down Scores" further shaded in by the ominous drone start, sparkling synths, and the stuttering cymbals. Also on the high energy (if not hi-NRG) front, "Tense Situations" finds a hell of a middle ground between Seefeel's early electronic airiness and New Order's Krautrock-inspired chug, the latter of which also drives "Sweet Freedom." "No Time for Deals," meanwhile, concludes the album with another briskly quick song to match the opener while finding its own distinct sound. On the smoother, calmer tip, "Yesterday's Tomorrow," while not Balearic beardo-disco per se, has the same sort of easygoing lushness that suggests the work of acts in the field, but with more of a solid synth pop punch than some. The album's strongest song, "Planetarium," puts all the pieces together really well, everything from flecks of space rock shimmer to punchy beat pulse going into the mix to create a skybound celebration.

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