Signaldrift

Set Design

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    7
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Though Set Design is ten tracks long, six of those are brief, seemingly improvisational ambient interludes in between the four longer and more constructed -- though still pretty spacy -- pieces. Mastermind Franz Buchholtz plays almost all the instruments save for a bit of guitar, and although most of the album is going for the sort of Eno-inspired stillness suggested by his choice of an artist name, each piece has at least one inspired arrangement choice, such as the vinyl clicks and pops that add an undercurrent of tension to the otherwise placid "Children of the '70s" and the woody, marimba-like keyboard riff that twinkles through the long, droning pulses of "Long Goodbyes." The only fully developed song on the album, in the sense that it ends someplace other than where it began, is the percolating neo-motorik of "128," a 13-and-a-half-minute epic that remains compelling throughout, but the individual pieces of Set Design fit together nicely, making it a much more interesting listen than one might initially expect.

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