Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society

Wow and Flutter

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Garry Hughes and Harvey Jones followed their 2017 debut as Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society with Wow and Flutter, another album of light, approachable ambient pieces composed on analog synthesizers. Like their first album, this one is generally tranquil and relaxing, yet there are a few dark shades here and there, and it maintains a sense of warmth and humanity rather than sounding like a stiff, lifeless lab creation. Also like the first album, the duo embrace a few rough, warped textures, but don't rely on them. The tracks progress through different elements and tones, never quite ending up where they started, but rarely drifting too far from the initial mood. While the duo set certain parameters for their work, allowing no beats or vocals, they manage to bend the rules a bit; there's clearly a voice, however artificial it may be, whispering the title of "She Brought the Sun," and the grainy yet bubbly "Sinewave Gamelan" seems to have some airport announcements threading through it. There are also sounds which could be mistaken for guitars rather than synthesizers, particularly during opener "The Fireflies of Manhattan," which seems to approximate light acoustic strums as well as sliding tones. "The Desert Beckons" begins somewhat dramatically, eventually gaining cosmic melodies which cluster and dance about before eventually dissolving into stardust. The effervescent textures and bright melodies of "Airlifted" provide perhaps the album's trippiest moment. Overall, Wow and Flutter is another pleasant, well-crafted journey which explores the possibilities of electronic instrumentation but remains driven by the heart as much as the brain.

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