Nova Nova

Ex-Ep

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This melancholic French electronic duo may have split up, but their tiny heritage of mini-albums and EPs demands more than a casual peek inside. About midway through their career, Nova Nova released this, the Ex-Ep: a very low-key, Orbital-esque excursion into easy beats and acoustic experimentation. Though it's occasionally stitched with weak material ("Ex-El-Echo" wanders a bit too much for its own good, the closing "Tones" tries to show off one epilogue too many), the overall feeling of intelligent heavyheartedness keeps things comfortably benign. "See" uses real-world pianos to float among a skilled set of downcast sulks, whereas the concisely named "U" slips in live snares and frenetic, somber beats to create one of the few danceable tracks that will depress you. This is a reserved hybrid of a record. Nova Nova may have come through the back door of rave to get to this chilled house, but they're all the more privileged for it.

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