Guitarist, composer, and programmer Laurent Blondel has a musical background that includes stints playing jazz with Billy Cobham and the Micronauts, conducting world music experiments with Djurdjura and Noel Akchote, and engaging in an ongoing collaboration with trumpeter Cuong Vu. For his solo work, he favors music that is, in his words, "dark and long," and those are fitting adjectives for everything on his Tone Casualties debut. Consisting of 13 very dark and very long compositions, Weld keeps things lively by means of highly creative juxtapositions, compelling beats, and constantly shifting textures. "Cotton Candy" takes female spoken word samples and threads them in among classical piano and a grunting trip-hop breakbeat; "Atomatic Lover" defines an almost dubwise rhythmic space and then fills it alternately with strangely treated monastic chanting and more of that classical piano; the "No Time to Die" triptych flirts with jungle, abstract beat, and hardcore over the course of its 14 minutes. Overall, it's a pretty exciting ride.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson