Keep Shelly in Athens

In Love with Dusk/Our Own Dream

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The Greek duo Keep Shelly in Athens combine the slow motion beats and gauzy textures of '90s ambient techno acts like the Orb, the dubby grace of trip-hop groups like Mono, and the melancholy melodies, submerged vocals, and bedroom sleepiness of modern chillwavers like Washed Out to create music that's both heavily nostalgic and right up to date. Throw in the occasional hip-hop scratch and vocal sample, digital glitch, Enya-inspired mystical moment, doom metal guitar riff, and huge gated drum sound, and you end up with something just odd enough to be considered original. This release, which compiles their two EPs released in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and throws in a couple bonus tracks as well, is a nice showcase of the duo's early years. Sure, everything on In Love with Dusk/Our Own Dream has been heard somewhere before, but never in quite this same combination. It doesn't always work -- sometimes the sound is too slick and verges on wallpaper Muzak -- but when it does, it can be really interesting. And in a few cases, like the upbeat "Cremona Melodies" and the somberly beautiful "Hauntin' Me," they make music on par with their combined influences.

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