Peppered with Spastic Magic

Two Lone Swordsmen

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Peppered with Spastic Magic Review

by Alex Henderson

Peppered With Spastic Magic is a collection of remixes by the London-based mixologists Andrew Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood (collectively known as Two Lone Swordsmen). This CD is not about songwriting craft -- it's about the beat and the track, and the Swordsmen bring that perspective to the table whether they're turning their attention to Saint Etienne's "Heart Failed," Alter Ego's "Mescal," or Texas' "Put Your Arms Around Me." Weatherall and Tenniswood aren't playing by singer/songwriter rules; those who accept that going in will find Peppered With Spastic Magic to be an enjoyably futuristic endeavor. This CD isn't an example of harsh, abrasive, in-your-face techno, but it isn't a sleek, smooth album of chillout, downtempo, or acid jazz either; instead, a mood that is spacy, quirky, and moody yet funky usually prevails. The Swordsmen are operating from a space-is-the-place aesthetic and, at times, Peppered With Spastic Magic almost sounds like an electronica equivalent of Sun Ra (minus the improvisation, horn solos, and real-time musicianship, of course). This release is unlikely to win over electronica's more severe detractors, but those who understand where the Swordsmen are coming from will find a lot to like about Peppered With Spastic Magic.

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