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on 19 September 2009
I first heard about Tim Exile a couple of days ago, as he has made an effects processor for none other than Native Instruments.
So I thought I would check some of his stuff out.
This album is simply breath taking. Production is good. The songs are just simply stunning. Very experimental ideas, with the odd more electro-pop number. Family Galaxy is awesome, it has so many shifts of time and feel and key, which even the most hardened critic of electronic music would be impressed by. It is beautiful, unnerving, scary and amazing all at the same time!
This is definately worth a listen, buy it!
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on 11 April 2009
I really liked Exile's Pro-agonist, but was ill prepared for the awesomeness of Listening Tree.

In particular, "Family Galaxy" blew me away on first listen and continues to do so. It has rhythms that shift and overlap like tectonic plates, lyrics that sound like they were beamed in from the mother ship and the melodies almost sound as if Syd Barratt at his most unpredictable decided to get into electronica. Its original, beautiful and I wish more songs had this kind of impact on me. Sounds hyperbolic I know, but it's one of the best songs I've heard in years.

The rest of the album isn't quite as mindblowing, but still really good. "Dont think that we're one" is an ace opener, catchy modern electro with some nicely cold lyrics. The production is immaculate as expected with lots of detail and depth. There's no weak tracks, though "Fortress" might be a bit too goth for some folks and his voice sometimes sounding like Depeche Mode might not work for everyone, but hey it works for me. Anyway, basically its a brilliant album and worth buying for Family Galaxy alone.
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"Listening Tree" sounds a bit like a collaboration between Squarepusher and Depeche Mode.

It's worth noting that this actually appears to be a joint release between the Warp and Planet Mu labels and as such, it does in places exhibit the latter label's tendency to sound a little over-bearing at times.

A quick check on the internet reveals that Mr Exile is in fact a classically trained violinist, and in a recent interview he admits that he's never been in a record shop! Figures. This is very much English electronica from a boy and his expensive toys. Burial it ain't.

However, there's a lot of variation here which manages to hold the listener's interest throughout its 50 min+ duration - from the almost pop "Don't Think We're One" (the album's opener and best track) and "Fortress" to the more Aphex-esque "When Every Day's a Number". Both melody and rhythm are cleverly deployed throughout, challenging the listener without alienating him - always a difficult trick to pull off. The LP also stands repeated listens very well.

The wifi-ed-up, Mac-using Nathan Barley types down at your local art-boozer will love this. For me though, this falls into the category of: OK/shows some promise.

Warp's return to breaks, bleeps and bass (as heralded by their other three releases of 2009 so far) put on hold for now.
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on 9 November 2010
There are a lot of haters for this album out there that i think is unjustified. Firstly you must understand that Tim Exile is the biggest pi** taker in electronic music. Its not brilliant but if your a fan of Clark, Jackson & his computer band, plaid then its worth a listen. Just don't take the 80's lyrics seriously!
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on 30 December 2011
If you ever attend an exile live gig you could be forgiven for running out the next day to purchase mr exiles entire back catalogue.

Unfortunately something is lost in the studio, and the amazing spontaneity and punch of the live shows is lost on this album. Its like he overproduced the "liveness" out of the album and if anything occasionally sounds like a JACKSON & his computer band tribute act (Not a terrible thing in itself but Jackson is better at being Jackson). A real shame IMHO, perhaps for the next one he'll keep it live?
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