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Boomkat Product Review:
Recorded over two years in their new North London studio, this album finds Plaid in fine form, offering up some of their most generously melodic and even poppy work to date. With its bucolic chamber instrumentation (is that a harp we hear?) and woozy vocal tones, opener 'Missing' could almost be Stereolab, while 'Unbank' has the progged-out vibe of Plaid's younger labelmate Hudson Mohawke, albeit with krautrock rather than R&B as its underpinning, and the lurching, high-intensity arpeggios and low-slung rhythm of 'Talk To Us' remind us of nothing so much as Rustie's 'Bad Science'. There are a few ear-catching murkier numbers too: 'Eye Robot' and 'Somnl' sound like dubstep hollowed out and gone cyber-punk, the latter even boasting an almighty wobbler of a bassline - more than anything, these tunes remind you how many of the ideas you hear in dubstep have their roots in classic Artificial Intelligence and UK post-techno. Speaking of which, 'Tender Hooks' is mellifluous IDM inna true-blue 90s Warp style, reminiscent not just of early Plaid and Black Dog Productions but also AFX and Squarepusher's quieter moments. Sonic sci-fi at its finest.