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the present - The Way We Are
Alluringly extravagant abstract electronica from NYC scenester Rusty Santos, who's made his name mixing and collaborating with all the city's major musical exports (Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Panda Bear, most prominently). The Way We Are follows up his Loaf debut The World I See, and takes a more experimental form than any of the projects he's helped out on previously. Although there are shades of Black Dice running through these playful effects-driven soundscapes, Santos avoids anything so organised or straight-forward as a loop - or even an orderly rhythm. 'Salt Water Trails' enters into a peculiar aquatic sound world full of chaos, drones and early electronics-style manipulations, while 'Space Meadow' invites the listener into a more serene, ambient spread of sounds that channels a weird, whale song psychedelia. There's noisier fare in here too, as on 'Press Play', but generally speaking however experimental all this gets your ears aren't put under too much duress. The title track is probably the most testing thing here, providing the main course in this auditory feast, and sprawling out across a disorientating half-hour of improvised laptop surrealism.