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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Ochre
Lemodie
Benbecula

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


July 10, 2006
Perhaps it's the jock in me, but one word I initially felt compelled to associate Ochre with is 'geeky' - and that was before I discovered that Chris Leary, the man behind the Ochre alias, held a Master Degree in Aeronautical Engineering to his name. But pre-emptive judgements aside, while Ochre's sophomore release immediately presents itself as an unmistakably software-driven piece of music, it surpasses many of its IDM contemporaries in the light of its accessibility.

Although the title Lemodie immediately summons an expectation of melody, to call it a 'melodic' album would fail to do it justice. The catchy hooks incorporated in the likes of "Sosacharo" and "Infotain Me" are merely iceberg-tips to the expansive beat-programming and aural architecture that Leary appears to have refined. And though inviting, these icebergs don't dissolve easily - opening track "III" clocks in at over seven-and-a-half minutes and represents an enduring example of Leary's ability to begin a track with one idea and finish it with an entirely different one.

Ochre's inclination to fuse electronica with classically-rooted instrumentation becomes evident during "Beneath Fleeting Visions." The track marries a series of string-rich swells with Leary's trademark cut-up beats, before traces of bass and synth seep into the mix. The theme is continued with "Lifewish," which on first inspection could have arisen from a Max Richter notebook.

"Sosacharo" stands out as Lemodie's distinct grower. Its eerie synth riff and squealing blip configuration flirt with the senses repeatedly with each listen, before embedding themselves well and truly - and even then it sounds better when listened to in its full context. "Anomie," with its comprehensible nod towards Autechre territory, affirms Ochre's compatibility with the lion's share of the Warp roster; Boards of Canada may provide the most suitable reference point as far as the general tone is concerned, but Lemodie demonstrates a more mechanical format - less organic, somewhat harsher (but not to the point of Aphex Twin or Chris Clark's works), and more edgy.

One last point on which to commend Leary is his ability to take each track to its limit. Rather than looping sections ad nauseum in the hope of creating decaying atmospheric tones, as many less accomplished artists resign themselves to doing, he sees the potential to twist his compositions, albeit with subtlety. Lemodie, therefore, boasts diversity as well as expert programming, and mixes elements that should appeal to all fans of electronic arts, regardless of their preferential sway.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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