One of the most thoroughly engrossing and musically substantial electronic albums to be released since Portishead broke up, Alif Tree's French Cuisine doesn't belong to any particular electronica subgenre, although it pulls some of the best ideas from ambient house, downtempo, acid jazz, IDM, and experimental minimalism, among others. Highlights include the hypnotic "Melismes Extatiques," built on a short loop of what sound like church bells and sounding like the first five minutes of "Tubular Bells" as reimagined by Steve Reich circa "Come Out" and "It's Gonna Rain"; the lushly romantic, soundtrack-like atmosphere of "Enough"; and the remarkable acid jazz groove of the opening "Deadly Species." Sequenced with the same attention to detail as a perfect DJ set and varied enough to envelop influences ranging from Nina Simone to Erik Satie, French Cuisine is a delight.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason