Luminous

Luminous

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New age elegance, trip-hop seduction, and powerful electronic ideas merge nicely on this mystical debut by the duo of techno pioneer Paul Robb (Information Society) and seductive folk songstress Barbara Cohen (Farm Accident, Little Lizard). Together, they create a hypnotic swirl of unpredictable global grooves, wild experimental electronics, and moody melodies and vocals, both with lyrics and wordless. There are also samples from the hip-hop world, so in some ways it's the ultimate modern R&B/new age electronica mix. Songs like "Libertine," "Black Oak," and "Hummingbirds" perfectly blend Cohen's rich voice (which sometimes is maddeningly machine-filtered) and Robb's Enigma-esque pop textures. Before changing their name to Luminous, the duo -- old friends from Minnesota -- was known as Brother Sun Sister Moon, which one critic described as a post-millennium Eurhythmics. Cohen is a bit too trippy and not quite powerful enough to be Annie Lennox, but the creativity is there. Luminous' mix of folk and electronics attracted the attention of English rave legends Orbital, resulting in a four-way collaboration, "Way Out," included on Orbital's techno classic Middle of Nowhere. The goal here is not hooky songwriting, but slow and meditational seductions, mood music for the electronic age.

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