The Night Garden

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In many cases, electronica is simply about the beat and the track -- vocal personality (if there are vocals at all) and melody aren't high priorities. But Waldeck's Viennese brand of trip-hop/electronica doesn't play by those rules. The Night Garden thrives on melody, and Waldeck doesn't just provide beats -- he provides real songs and features real vocalists with real personalities. The two singers that Waldeck features on this CD, Joy Malcolm and Brian Amos, are definite assets for the Austrian producer. Both of them favor an understated, subtle approach, which is perfect for The Night Garden because Waldeck's songs aren't aggressive or forceful. They're hypnotic, moody, and spacy, and songs like "Fallen Angel" and "Floater" call for subtle vocals -- not belting or screaming. One tune that doesn't feature either Malcolm or Amos is "This Isn't Maybe," which finds Waldeck sampling Chet Baker's 1955 recording of the standard "This Is Always" and combining the late jazzman's vocals with an electronic groove. Baker and trip-hop might be an unlikely combination, but Waldeck pulls it off brilliantly and sees to it that "This Isn't Maybe" sounds organic, not forced. Electronica has often been accused of sounding cold and impersonal, but that is never a problem on this consistently appealing CD.

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