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With Fantasy, Couch's third album -- and the first re-released by Matador -- the Munich quartet makes a quantum leap, blending lush arrangements and direct, memorable melodies into their dynamic instrumentals. Though post-rock fans will hear elements of Stereolab, Neu!, Tortoise, Trans Am, Pell Mell, and the other usual suspects in the album's nine pieces, Fantasy's lively immediacy sets it apart. From the brisk kraut rock groove of "Ich Bei Davor" to the shimmering, dream pop tinged "Camaro" to the sleek, kinetic "Linie Gegen Strich," Couch delivers an expansive and eclectic sound. "Heimweg 78"'s creative percussion choices and counter-rhythms, "Control"'s bouncy yet graceful melody, and "Gegen Den"'s fluid dynamic shifts define Fantasy's unique but accessible approach, making it perhaps one of the first "post-pop" albums.

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