Julian Fane

Our New Quarters

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To get one thing out in the open immediately: Julian Fane sounds like Thom Yorke. Not in a bad, budget-compilation imitative way, but his breathy falsetto and semi-indecipherable delivery immediately open up inevitable comparisons. And while many of the tracks also bear a slight resemblance to OK Computer-era Radiohead or Sigur Rós, Fane doesn't just go for the easy sound-alike. He also brings in influences from the new wave and post-punk eras to give the songs more of an upbeat and vivid feel than the aforementioned comparisons. These are simple, melodic pop songs that are haunting, and while there's nothing groundbreaking, Fane does the job very well. It's also a bold departure for Planet Mu, which for the past several years has been branching out into styles years away from its frantic signature IDM sound and into different territories. This departure might alienate those who just want to hear µ-Ziq and his army of glitchy minions ad infinitum -- but those willing to look past such trivial things will find Our New Quarters a refreshing and exciting listen.

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