Languis

Untied

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    8
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On Untied, Languis' fourth full-length album, the duo continues to move its sound forward, inching closer toward the glitch sound of its California peers such as Kid 606 and Matmos, yet still embracing its post-rock roots. Marcos Chloca and Alejandro Cohen absolutely submerse the album in dense layers of soft, gentle noise -- flickering static, buzzing silence, phasing synth, tapping percussion, droning ambience -- and do so in a seamless manner, all of this noise harmonizing into a massive wall of sound. Yet the wall-like noise never becomes poignant or even unsettling; rather, it's surprisingly comforting, even blissful at times. Furthermore, Chloca and Cohen space out the 50-minute album meticulously, opening with the subtle "Waterfall," followed by the standout vocal track "Touch a Cloud," and then progressively heading toward challenging IDM before turning full circle for "Night Collider," the album's other standout moment. Like "Touch a Cloud," this song employs a hushed vocal. It also features a simple acoustic guitar rhythm, making it perhaps the most shimmering song on the album because it seems so bare and ordinary amid such experimentation. From here the duo heads toward the album-closing "Strip Me out of My Time," a staggering 12-minute epic that summarizes everything characteristic of Languis. The duo's past albums had similarly been impressively unique and visionary, yet Untied stands apart for seemingly paradoxical reasons: it's both simpler and more ambitious. By keeping the album relatively brief and most of the songs around the same three- to four-minute length, Languis has fashioned Untied as a traditional pop/rock album; the careful positioning of the vocal tracks and the epic album-capper further this sense. However, as simple as Untied seems, it's actually a leap forward for the duo, who quietly continues to inch from post-rock to IDM by embracing the laptop-production style of its California glitch peers.

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