Sunday, November 26, 2006


I am a big fan of the UK duo Bent. Their brand of left field electronica has always struck a chord with me, from their stellar debut Programmed To Love to it's equally great follow up The Everlasting Blink. These two albums are full of lush melodies, quirky arrangements and killer vocal samples from sources as diverse as The Captain & Tenille and Nana Mouskouri. They followed these up with Ariels, where the sounds remained the same but were now accompanied by actual vocals, sung by four different singers, as opposed to samples. I liked the result, but not as much as what had come before. Last month the duo sprang back into action with Intercept!. This time out they've enlisted the pipes of Simon Lord, former lead vocalist of Simian. I was a big fan of the now defunct Simian, so this move works for me. It makes this record sound like the work of a real band, and it's more cohesive overall than Ariels. The result is a record full of the duo's trademark sounds, with some nice post punk edge thrown into the mix, that moves ever so slightly towards the realm of pop. I am digging this album a lot. It kicks off with yet another installment of the long running Exercise series, Exercise 7. A spooky, spaced out intro gives way to big, lush, disco happenings with swelling melodies swirling around the beats. Waiting For You is one of the vocal tracks, and is pretty fierce. Built over growling synths and bass, it adds some delicious, scratchy Afro-pop guitar straight from Talking Heads circa Remain In Light and slowly builds into a real stomper before fading to blissed out synths. Welcome back, Bent!

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