Grumbling Fur


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Although they're just two years past their 2011 debut, Furrier, London-based experimental unit Grumbling Fur sound like an almost entirely different beast on third album Glynnaestra. On the surface, it would make sense; Furrier was the highly edited result of a swampy group improvisation, while Glynnaestra finds just two of the original players, Daniel O'Sullivan and Alexander Tucker, sculpting dark and detailed electronic pop. While the noisy tones of that first wayward jam session don't have a lot in common with the cold sequencing of Tucker and O'Sullivan's grimly glowing electro, there are some threads keeping the spirit of those initial earthy jams alive throughout Glynnaestra. Tracks like the icy and repetitive "Protogenesis" and "Galacticon" sound like '80s synth pop à la Depeche Mode or Erasure through a decidedly more dour Krautrock lens, calling to mind the rudimentary electronic impulses of Cluster or La Düsseldorf. However calculated and clinical these songs feel, their computeristic sheen is broken when the band drops in moody cello sections, folky vocal harmonies, and other disruptively organic elements. "The Ballad of Roy Batty" opens with shaky handclaps that soon fold into a booming 808 beat and sadly melodic group vocals. The droning "Alapana Blaze" forgoes electronics altogether, featuring clanging gamelan instruments, a distant, muttering guitar, and shapeless percussion guiding the meditation along. The band works the duality of manufactured and organic to its advantage, crafting a record where the steady synth pulse of "Dancing Light" can be followed by a woodsy folk dirge like "Clear Path" or a hissing collection of found sounds like "The Hound" and all seem to fit together in a well-planned sequence. The more mossy neo-folk moments actually serve to make the electro-pop selections stand out more. The album flows by with the scrapbooked flair of an intricately constructed sound collage, but one whose loose ends and experimental moments are firmly rooted in Krautpop rhythms.

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