The Four Walls


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The Four Walls Review

by Stewart Mason

Los Angeles (by way of Buenos Aires) duo Languis switch record labels with their fifth album, 2004's The Four Walls, but the brief remains the same: the more melodic side of European electronica (Air, Stereolab, Red Snapper, and Mouse on Mars are all obvious reference points) combines with acoustic guitars and other live instrumentation. The results aren't quite "folktronica," as artists like Beth Orton and Nyles Lannon have been dubbed, because the cool digital groove remains paramount over the acoustic textures, even on songs like "Side of the Road," where the sequenced blips share sonic space with twangy guitars. The combination of electronic and traditional instruments gives The Four Walls a sonic richness (even on beat-heavy tracks like the chilly pulsating "Even When You Sleep") missing from the likes of Autechre, and much of the record (especially the sweeping cinematic "The Turning Point") sounds lushly melodic in a way that this sort of electronic bliss-out rarely manages.

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