Simian Mobile Disco

Unpatterns

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Unpatterns comes across as a reaction to Simian Mobile Disco's previous two full-length releases. Temporary Pleasure (2009) featured a series of guest vocalists over productions that were largely busy and bright. Delicacies (2010) compiled alternately nutty and stern tracks that resembled a soundclash between the Perlon and 240 Volts labels circa 2003. Unpatterns, comparatively, is leaner and more insular. Save for a discreet appearance from Jamie Lidell on the jacking "Put Your Hands Together," the few voices that are heard are sampled, distressed, and sometimes made to sound inhuman. The half-blissful/half-anguished "Your Love Ain't Fair" recalls Sepalcure's smudged U.K. garage take on bass music. "Seraphim," the closest to a diva track with the looped "Why can't you be where I want you to be?," is downcast house with a brilliantly wrenching rhythm and taut acid wriggles. The closing "Pareidolia" is one of the duo's most remarkable achievements to date. It pairs reverberant, dripping-wet percussion flecks with hot synthesizer flashes that reach an almost numbing level of intensity before settling into a heavy groove. Just as that groove reaches full stride, it's wiped out by a sustained corrosive synthesizer note. In terms of popularity, the album is not likely to rival Attack Decay Sustain Release. It's not as novel, either, but it's exceptionally crafted.

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