The Octopus Project

One Ten Hundred Thousand Million

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How many times are we told never to judge a book by its cover, and how many times do we forget this sage advice? Judging from the cutesy photos on the sleeve of the Octopus Project's second album One Ten Hundred Thousand Million one might expect to find the latest entry in electro-clash hipsterdom within, but looks are indeed deceiving. Instead of the obligatory dancefloor-friendly white-belted boogies, these tracks are far more experimental, melding the analog-retro keyboards of Add N to (X), the idiosyncratic rhythms of Aphex-style IDM, and the furious overdriven percussion workouts of robot rockers like Trans Am. This collection of instrumentals veers wildly from contemplative noodling to post-Kraut groovemongering, often within the same track. "Bruise" and "Responsible Stu" are pensive glitch-fests that recall more esoteric composers like Boards of Canada, while "Music Is Happiness" and "All of the Champs That Ever Lived" rock like Tortoise if they hadn't sold their souls to the jazz-androids. An impressive follow-up to their equally enthralling debut Identification Parade, One Ten Hundred Thousand Million sets the bar for electronic rockers everywhere, and makes subtle allusions to their subsequent collaboration with like-minded retro-futurist acidheads Black Moth Super Rainbow called The House of Apples and Eyeballs, which would be a hugely successful endeavor, the whole of which is far beyond the sum of its parts.

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