Wols

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The Russian duo of Evgeny Shchukin and Alexander Tochilkin hail from the Black Sea resort city of Krasnodar, which goes some way toward explaining their highly unusual take on the dubstep sound. Also operating on the techno scene under the name Modul, they incorporate sound elements from all over the place and from musical regions that seem not to have been mapped previously; certainly the chanted vocals that pulse through "Geek Rudohop" sound as if they come not just from a foreign country, but perhaps from an alien planet, while "Araamu's Army vs. Our Sneakers" is built on a familiarly lurching, dubsteppy beat but wraps it in a more ethereal and dubwise envelope with a distinctly reggae-flavored rhythmic undertow. Things get really weird with "Bathyscaphe Finds a Music Box" and "Subland Hike," both of which feature rhythms that are unusually slippery and off-kilter (and which are substantially more effective on the former track than the latter), and they get weirdly beautiful on the strange but thoroughly lovely "Hereinafter." Virtually every track has something unique about it, whether it's the robotically swinging "Liquid Meets Discrete" or the near-rockers rhythm and dubwise dropouts of "Taluppa Kids," and yet everything partakes clearly if indirectly of the dubstep spirit.

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