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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars, if I may!, 4 July 2005
This review is from: Maritime (Audio CD)
Minotaur Shock's second full-length will surely raise his reputation to the level of some of his more overrated peers, namely Four Tet and Manitoba, both of whom seem to have been unjustly hogging the electronica limelight for the last couple of years. 'Maritime' take a naval theme as its core imagery but despite a few moments of kitsch and whimsy, is not overwealmingly gimmicky. Rather, it is an album of textures and incricate melodies, drawn out of an pallette of electro-style synths and some live instrumentation. Sometimes it gets cute, but the layering of ideas is always precise and colourful. 'Museli' opens with a little repeated horn-like synth line that resembles some Philip Glass, another influence that pops up throughout the album. '(She's In) Dry Dock Now' comes off like Prefuse 73 remixing Vangelis, with a cut and paste r'n'b rhythm overlayed with unashamebly melodic synths. 'Vigo Bay' opens hard and fast with nautical flutes, like Krautrock played by demented fisherman, while 'Hilly' is heartfelt microdot funk in the vein of Two Lone Swordsmen. Things are quieter on the second half of the album, and take more patience, but almost all the tracks evolve into something quite subtly special. In a genre of music that is often overearnest and esoteric, this is highly accessible but no less complex.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cuddle up!, 28 Jun 2005
J. Moxley "already_taken" (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Maritime (Audio CD)
This is like an unexpected hug from a friend. It makes you want to dance or, more specifically, jig. Or throw out your arms and spin round like Julie Andrews at the beginning of The Sound Of Music. Subtly marrying elements of dimly familiar 80's pop, chirpy electronica and gorgeous strings, woodwind, accordian, breathy vocals and what sounds like a colliery band, he manages to sustain a convincing and contagious happiness for the entire album's duration which is practically unheard of these days (cf Ulrich Schnauss). Don't call it Folktronica; this is Nature Programme.
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Maritime by Minotaur Shock (Audio CD - 2005)
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