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What if Tito Puente, Kraftwerk and electric Miles Davis had jammed ... what would that have sounded like? German electronic duo Bernd Friedmann (aka Burnt Friedman) and Uwe Schmidt (Atom Heart, Seøor Coconut, etc.) may provide the answer with their Flanger collaboration, this being the third album in just a few years for Ninja Tune. Their music is thoroughly jazz - warm, spacious, latino jazz - where every sound glows with clarity and every song comfortably glides over the eardrums, even when it's frantic. Vibes, electric and upright basses, guitar, synth, organ and some saxophone and vocoded phrases provide the palette, framed within often complex and rapid rhythmic layers. It's an international affair all around with many live players recorded in Santiago, Copenhagen and Cologne, some track titles in French, Spanish and German, and the album title inspired by an essay by British sci-fi author J. G. Ballard. Uwe and Burnt seem to enjoy obscuring the line between what is programmed and what is 'played', only revealing the digital enhancements and editing here and there, when they choose to. Not that it really matters mind you. The all important question is 'does it have soul?' and the answer is a resounding 'yes'. It's another stellar 46 and 1/2 minutes worth of Flanger, more focused than ever.



Last Updated on Monday, 24 October 2005 05:39  


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