Sometimes, Good Things Happen [Gold]

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This, the "quiet one" (relatively speaking) of a pair of CDs titled and packaged identically (the differentiator being separate color schemes), shows that James Kirby and friends aren't just arch electronic pranksters; in fact, they can produce "serious" music as well as any serious electronic musician out there. A collection of 12 pieces, the gold edition of Sometimes, Good Things Happen forswears the Stock, Aitken & Waterman samples in favor of a succession of sounds: isolationist ring-modulator ambience, analogue electronics experimentation, and a few mildly grating noise pieces. The album begins with a few tracks reminiscent of deep-space composers like Robert Rich or Lustmord, but then detours into excellent digital paranoia ("Some Things Look Better Baby," "Rolling Like Thunder Under the Covers," "I'm Convinced We Can Make It") that outdoes electronic soundtracker Wendy Carlos at her own game (circa 1982's Tron). The brief avalanche of ping-pong echoes on "Half Inside, Half Outside" is another brilliant moment, ably proving the depth of Kirby's production finesse -- if it wasn't clear before. It definitely makes for an easier listen than the noise-driven blue edition of Sometimes, Good Things Happen.

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