It Would Have Lived Here

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This is Snawklor's second full-length CD. It Would Have Lived There consists of seven delicate electronic pieces that combine shimmering digital bells, quiet field recordings and junk percussion. The album starts off rather noisily, the first two tracks clanging away in a punkish, whimsical fashion that immediately brings the Mego label to mind. But soon things cool down and the Australian duo gradually lead us toward ever more quieter areas. The music cools down but never grows cold; it retains a strong, spellbinding human element. By "War in the Trees" we stand in ambient domain, with the field recordings occupying at least half of the sound spectrum. "Nocturnal: Secrets of the Hounadine" introduces pizzicato strings (from a violin? a toy guitar?) assembled on the computer, while the closing "Anchovies Pleasure Ghost" uses acoustic guitar sounds treated with Max/MSP patches (or similar software). Often the music evokes the Austro-German experimental electro scene (Ekkehard Ehlers, Christian Fennesz and the likes), but Snawklor hold their ground with a distinctive sound. There is an element of genuine playfulness in the music. It translates into Mego-esque wit in the first few tracks, and in a dandyish form of melancholia in the last ones. The path laid down by the track list is surprisingly comfortable and convincing. Each piece stands well on its own, thanks to tight, intelligent structures; put together like this they form an impressive architecture. Highly recommended as one of the best experimental electro records of 2003.

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