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the sea and cake - Runner
Originally intended as a companion piece to 2011's 'The Moonlight Butterfly', during the writing process Sam Prekop realized this record was going to go somewhere totally new. Those of you who heard Prekop's incredible 'Old Punch Card' LP last year will already know his surprising aptitude with modular synthesizers, but it's still surprising to hear that he used those techniques to form the basis of 'Runner'. Synthesizer sequences became guitar parts, and even though many of the original synthesizer tracks are long removed, the fingerprint is still there in ghostly elegance. Take 'Harps' for example, while this still has a buzzing synth part taking centre stage, it's easy to hear how these kind of patterns informed the growth of the other tracks, from the joyous opener 'On & On' to the near post-punk grit of 'Pacific'. While the songs themselves might not be too stylistically different from any in the band's catalogue, 'Runner' is a classic case of reshuffling, where by doing a couple of things differently they've given an adrenaline shot to their sound, and it might be our favourite record from them in a while. Well good.