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Boomkat Product Review:
This second album by Benoit Pioulard (aka Thomas Meluch) finds the Chicagoan songwriter pushing the boundaries of electronic bedroom-bound production, presenting a sound that on the one hand is obviously characterised by extreme digital sound sculpting techniques yet on the other retains all the ramshackle, lo-fi qualities you'd expect from a rough laptop recording. Imagine Meluch's Kranky labelmate Boduf Songs being produced by Tim Hecker or Christian Fennesz and you're in the right district. In fact, there's a comparison to be made to that other great Kranky institution Bradford Cox: much as is the case with the Deerhunter frontman's Atlas Sound incarnation, this record relies as much on off-the-shelf production technology as it does on the conventions of songwriting, and pieces such as 'The Loom Pedal' underline how powerful this combination can be, casting folksy troubadour-isms against hazy electronic textures like a collision between Iron & Wine and Boards Of Canada. There's always a danger that music playing this game - juggling these two very different disciplines - comes unstuck by compromising on one or the other aspect, and while you can't always make out what Benoit's on about through all the droney details, there's a Grouper-like quality of musician and recording aesthetic in perfect harmony. Lovely music.