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group rhoda - Out Of Time - Out Of Touch
This is the killer debut album of machine made psych-pop by solo San Franciscan Mara Barenbaum. From her way-out-west base she's crafted a striking record, a coolly disciplined blend of plaintive vocals, driving drumbox pulses and flowering synth melody delivered with effortless, detached nonchalance and verve placing her somewhere between Suicide, Julia Holter, John Maus and Peaking Lights. Her distinguished, almost aloof vocals have previously graced records by her home region's Water Borders (Tri Angle) and Bobby Browser (100% Silk), and she's evidently got a way with her machines, too. 'Out Of Time - Out Of Touch' is an album of paradoxes: it's DIY minimal and exotically colourful, stark yet lush, disconnected but acutely aware, synthetic and unmistakably human. Veering from the twinkly Wave step of 'Virtual Dancer' to the bass-surfing melodic glisten of 'Fire', she takes in the body-sensual Ballardian dub exotica of 'Hi Rise', the elegant toil of 'Work' and a sumptuous Wurlitzer number named 'At The Dark', keeping us utterly suspended in a state of hypnotic nocturnal bliss. We reckon a lot of people are going to fall in love with it - especially if you like Peaking Lights, FAY, Chris & Cosey, or Maria Minerva. Highly Recommended!