Appliance

D4

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From Exeter (near Devon), this British band has been favorably compared to vaunted space rock and art rock elitists (Spiritualized, Neu!) and to the percolating "soop" groove of Stereolab. However, Appliance may sound more like two even more dissimilar acts, Can (think "Mother Sky") and Luna, although guitarist/vocalist James Brooks' humorless vocals lack Dean Wareham's tongue-in-cheek bite. (Brooks sounds a bit like New Order's Bernard Sumner, actually.) D4 is a terrific EP of remixes by a few of the top Teutonic electronic post-rockers. Each track -- "Soft Landing" (To Rococo Rot), "Throwing a Curve Ball" (Tarwater), "Hot Pursuit" (Kreidler), and "Heroes of Telemark" (Pole) -- combines rhythm-heavy guitar and liquid basslines for a potent, resonant sound steeped in sonorous sonic goo. These soporific sound loops and rhythms are hypnotic in their repetition (in an overly modulated Krautrock-inspired post-rock sort of way), but may be disappointing to Appliance fans seeking replication of the group's Manual; what you get here are the bubbles on the surface, hinting that there is something submerged deeper. For those who want to dive in, however, there are pearls to be found below. Incidentally, the sleeve reproduces an acrylic and glaze painting called Mercedes by frontman Brooks, completing the Manual series of artwork (which has included work from acclaimed British artist Jason Martin).

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