Cypher 7

Nothing Lasts

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Cypher 7 is one of the brightest lights in Bill Laswell's seemingly endless musical universe. Here, his role is production ("navigation and ground control"), though he contributes his trademark dubby bass on one track. Nothing Lasts is a beautiful IDM album disguised as a dub record. Evoking '70s pioneers like Vangelis, Alex Haas, and Jeff Bova, Cypher 7 pour sparkling, wide-eyed synths over smooth, four-on-the-floor beats. If Black Dog were more dubwise, they might sound like Cypher 7. Nothing Lasts collects the tracks from 1995's Security and adds a clutch of new ones for a sprawling two-disc set. It has two types of tracks, beatless and beat-driven; the latter win here. "Dead Drop" is winsomely lush, sending echoed beeps over delicate industrial percussion. Like Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack, the pads of "Ladder of Lights" conjure up a futuristic metropolis of lonely souls. In "Message Important," coded French Resistance radio messages float disembodied over bass and organ mutterings. "The Suspicious Shaman" is jaw dropping, mixing the bell-like melodies of prime 4AD with the gently discordant stabs of Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Fans of Ryuichi Sakamoto's pan-cultural stews will find much to savor here.

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