Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Populous - Quipo

This is one of my favourite electronica albums of the last decade. Released on Morr Music in 2002, and produced by Italian Andrea Mangia, this shows all the hallmarks of a debut album - it is rich with melodic ideas and expression, and no amount of attention to detail is spared. In fact, luscious opener 'Bottom 01' is cut off in its prime at two and a half minutes, when such a gorgeous conflation of melodic bass, sweeping synths, glitchy mesh and morphing arpeggios should ideally play out for about 6 minutes, and probably would on a 3rd or 4th album, when the life's-worth of musical ideas have been used up. I would recommend this to fans of Boards Of Canada, as it obviously inhabits the same sphere - the pace is hip-hop, and it is heavy on the melodic synths. The beats here are somewhat lighter, and skip along more. There is more dynamics created by fading the volume up and down and panning; and there is a more delicate filigree of scrunches and glitches that help move the phrases along. I would say that the best of this album matches the best of BOC: the melodies are often exquisitely turned, and the whole sound is so perfectly at one, it glows with the obviously huge amount of love and effort that went into producing it. Summed up perfectly on the awesome 3rd track 'Flu', which is truly glorious. I actually bought this on cd as well as vinyl, to protect my LP from wear and tear.


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