Lloyd Cole / Hans-Joachim Roedelius

Selected Studies, Vol. 1

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To say the least, the pairing of former Commotions lead crooner Lloyd Cole and Krautrock pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius looks a little strange on paper, but both had been operating in electronic music circles for some time by the arrival of Selected Studies, Vol. 1. Considering Cole's history as a smooth pop singer, his involvement in this entirely instrumental album of extremely chilled-out, nearly ambient studies in texture and subtly shifting moods is especially curious, despite the release of Plastic Wood, his often overlooked 2001 album of similarly minded instrumental electronic music. To be sure, both players are working in equal parts as composers and electronic explorers. Roedelius' impressive history of softly glowing electronic compositions is no more on display here than Cole's more limited one, and the two turn in ten pieces of stoically beautiful, mostly beatless electronica, drawing comparisons to everything from Brian Eno's contributions to Bowie's icy electronica on the second side of Low with tracks like "Virginie L" to reflections of classical masters like Debussy and Satie with slowly unfolding compositions like "Still Life with Kannyu."

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