Dani Siciliano


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The calming voice of Dani Siciliano graces Herbert's Around the House and Bodily Functions, slithering and wrapping around and floating on top of her husband's mutant lounge grooves. It also does similar things throughout Brooks' You, Me and Us, a horrifically underheard slab of mutant house from 2002. A full album of that voice turns out to be as wonderful as one might have expected -- even more wonderful in a few instances. On Likes..., Siciliano's the one in control, with Herbert on board in a more supportive role. The set-up isn't much different from anything Siciliano/Herbert fans are familiar with, though the album is less glitch and dance-oriented than anything they've been associated with in the past. "Same" sets the muted tone from the beginning; over the course of nine minutes, an understated momentum slowly builds, with a human bassline eventually swallowed up by a machine pulse during the latter third. Just when it verges on the brink of string-arrangement bombast, it peels back and ends abruptly. A reinterpretation of Nirvana's "Come as You Are" that's neither silly nor ironic in sentiment follows and is another highlight. Barely recognizable, the tension between the stand-up bass and the flurry of percussive effects -- along with splashes of somber French horn -- prevent it from being some kind of tongue-in-cheek send-up. As a lyricist -- a role she takes on for the remainder of the songs -- Siciliano isn't particularly compelling. This isn't much of a sticking point; her voice falls into the dreamy productions as an instrument that adds another shade. The words suit the sound, if not necessarily the song, and it's not as if they're poor by anyone's standards. The album makes an excellent companion piece to Bodily Functions. At points, it comes very close to being its equal. Why can't we get more records like this, when so many hand-me-down trip-hop acts continue to hatch, Tribble-like, from the bargain bins?

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