Transparent Sound

Haircut Fantasy

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From their name, one would assume that the duo of writer/producers Orson Bramley and Martin Brown were into a particularly delicate brand of ambient electronica. Over the course of their on-again, off-again decade-plus career, however, Transparent Sound have moved from house-influenced beats into a more fluid and idiosyncratic sound. Third full-length Haircut Fantasy isn't quite electroclash, in the sense that the duo doesn't seem to be overtly channeling the early-'80s version of "the sound of the future," but quarter-century-old synth and sequencer sounds are all over songs like the jittery title track. The eccentricity of Boards of Canada can be felt in a few places as well, as in the vaguely creepy posh-old-man narration that floats through the spacy "Voyeurs Chance." One of those rare electro albums that's as much fun to listen to passively as it is to dance to, Haircut Fantasy will be particularly appreciated by fans of the early days of Mute Records.

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