Marc Houle

Drift

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As steps are heard followed a rhythmic knock on the door, Marc Houle begins "Inside" with a feeling of spy movie/Cold War noir. Drift is a seamlessly mixed collection of full-on atmospherics that won't surprise much but does its business perfectly -- one almost wants to be wandering around a huge but empty 21st century airport with combined swagger and unease. As with much understated techno, sometimes it comes down to the addition of one key element to really make a song stand out -- for example, the focused, melancholic guitar part underpinning "Sweet." The title track, though, turns what's been a pretty chill listen into a fuller-bodied affair thanks to the pumped-up bassline, and from there the tension continues to grow throughout in an attractive, compelling fashion. The song titles help in further setting the overall mood, thus "Seeing in the Dark" -- though "Hitcher Man" may take the cake for combining two horror/thriller B-movie classics in one and then moving in another direction entirely with its demi-industrial crunch.

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