Alog

Duck-Rabbit

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Norwegian duo Alog's second CD is "As Complicated and as Beautiful as Always," to quote one of the track titles. The rich constructions of samples and real instruments, both reassembled on the computer after the initial improvisations, continue to challenge the mind, but this time around the duo has shifted its focus. While 1999's Red Shift Swing showed a strange but definite filiation with jazz (both free and lounge, go figure), Duck-Rabbit is an ersatz distillation of pop and techno. The album title itself illustrates the kind of Frankenstein-inspired surgery that Espen Sommer Eide and Dag-Are Haugen accomplish. The important thing is that the resulting creature lives. The danger was to fall into a recipe, something Alog cleverly avoided by varying its inspirations and sources. The music itself sounds just a bit less convincing, or maybe it is only because it requires a little more effort from the listener. Highlights include "Violence and Magical Danger" (nice voice samples providing a chilling effect), the title track, and "Idea-Changing Liquid Alchemy," the latter being one of the group's easiest tracks but also a very successful one. The closing "Drunk DJs" represents the biggest surprise: an acoustic guitar duet, the antithesis of everything that came before. What's even more surprising is that one can only agree this was the best way to end Duck-Rabbit.

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