Stars as Eyes

Freedom Rock

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With prosaic and mostly archetypal soft-synth noises mitigated by subtle and reasonably intuitive arrangements, this effort from Providence, RI's Steve Ferrari and Craig Four ranks as a solid but mostly unspectacular debut. As with so many of the middle-of-the-road IDM records released during electronic music's boom, Freedom Rock too frequently plays like the work of kids more interested in emulating than they are in creating; the prevailing sense is of a duo too preoccupied with what their software can do to properly assess whether it was worth doing in the first place. That said, there are some legitimately pretty moments caught up between the album's more fruitless experimentations: "The Head of a Dragon" boasts a lonesome horn swell that gently moans itself to close, "Tell Her I Don't Care" rests on a gently mutating arrangement of prolonged drones, and "Figure It Out" marries Autechre's industrial twitch-beat with a twinkly synth coda.

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