Supercollider

Dual

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    8
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The second and final album from this spectacular duo, Dual found Supercollider again practically alone in their world -- like their contemporaries Disco Inferno, who also used sampling as a compositional element for a "rock" band in ways little dreamed of, they rejected obvious approaches for something truly unique, but gained no attention at all from it. It's all the more a pity because strong as the debut was, Dual was even better, at once more commanding and more hauntingly beautiful, the hints of Joy Division/Martin Hannett/Wire recombined into something new. Michael Horton and Phillip Haut, again using their basic instruments of guitar and drums as the core, create songs based much more around rhythm than conventional melodies as such -- something like "Push-Pull," with its intertwining patterns and textures that Horton's voice seems to almost float through, sums up their art well. In ways, what Dual does is rework the basic approach of Supercollider with new elements. It's almost audibly the band getting more comfortable with the studio, as can be heard with the echoed break on "Superior," the strange bell-chime sound on "Voiceover," or the pattering back-and-forth rapid bass pulse on "Razor-Ribbon." "Seized" builds up the tension through its looped guitar twangs before suddenly letting loose with a brisk drum punch and processed feedback purr in the background. Throughout, Horton's voice keeps its higher-pitched, slightly nervous quality as if he were singing poetry but unsure about how others might take it. But the combination of voice and music on song like the dank, shimmering "Stainless" is especially fine, while the details on "Hopeless" -- "the backseat springs are poking at me," for instance -- add a sudden, vivid touch to the sad but elegant arrangement.