Nothing to do with the American synth pop group of that same name -- not unless there's a deeper joke than the one apparently being played here -- but Animotion is another fine effort by the studio fellers in the Weekend Guitar Trio. This effort is done by the three performers -- Robert Jurjendal, Tonis Leemets, and Mart Soo -- on their own, with the help of various pieces of Roland gear, and a trusty E-bow or two. There's a notable folk influence on the album that wasn't always immediately present in their mid-'90s work, but the three members haven't abandoned their past so much as refocused it -- if anything, their stated inspiration in Robert Fripp (among others) makes even more sense. With pulses and beats occasionally setting the pace -- at other points it's clearly the guitars that determine where to go and how fast -- the three again blend electronic and acoustic influences into a textured album with plenty of variety. The sassy kick and swing of "Listen, Listen!," the quirky twang and high-pitched sting of "Mushroom," and the gentle reflection of "I Thank Thee" -- itself a reworking of a traditional melody -- mix in with songs more immediately recognizable from past approaches, like "Flying Dutchman," with its hints of Glenn Branca/Sonic Youth style. There's a bit of weird humor in some of the songs as well -- perhaps a hard thing to say when talking about instrumentals, but "The Dark Side of the Country" is a giddy backwoods romp (of sorts), while "The Spy" puts a smile on one's face: John Barry working for Austin Powers more than James Bond, say. "Old Cinema Song" does the film theme one better, with an intentionally crackly production on a piece which could indeed be something from a '30s serial melodrama, at least of sorts!
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