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on 25 February 2003
God only knows where this will get airplay - but it deserves to. Probably Peel or Xfm's John Kennedy will pick it up. They should anyway.
This is a lush record that sounds like a hybrid between My Bloody Valentine's Loveless and Radiohead's Kid A/Amnesiac stuff. Every song is a well-constructed soundscape. Whilst most 'ambient' albums sound two-dimensional to me, Clue To Kalo/Mark Mitchell does a great job of making songs first. It sounds to me like the melody is an important part of the mix here.
Particular faves include "this is over by inches", "we'll live free (in nyc)" and the 11-minute epic "still we felt bulletproof".
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on 21 April 2003
Sometimes it is unfair to compare a band or an album with others, particularly when the album generates such genuine enthusiasm for a piece and anticipation for each next move as Clue to Kalo's Come Here when you Sleepwalk. Fairness aside, a mix of Björk's Homogenic, Hefner (the producer, rather than the guitar band) and Le Tone with a hint of Badly Drawn Boy should give you some indication of where we stand with this album. The first three tracks suck you right in to a wonderful world of broad sounds and fascinating ideas. The wide, treble-oriented production, full of bleeps, rhythmic hisses and drums creates a landscape where the simple melodies and sung verse fit in comfortably and effortlessly. Yet there is tension, too. This stems from the occasional feeling that what the tune needs right now is a Fat Boy Slim-style kicking funk beat to really take you to that level of musical satedness you crave - and you will be disappointed. Mark Mitchell, writer and producer behind Clue to Kolo steers conscientiously away from such temptations, perhaps in the knowledge that satisfying them will leave you with that slightly guilty feeling which you have after an excessively large meal. The album has its weak points, naturally. "We'll live free" is a rather unstructured blur of nice sounds, which don't bring anything new of interest after the magnificent opening. "Still we felt bulletproof" needs patience to get through the fragile vocals - the sounds following are suck you back to active listening until they, too, descend into a somewhat unstructured wallow, itself followed by an ecstatic broadening back to a fade-out with the vocals - all in the one song. Remember the Hefner reference? This could define "I think we can kinetic", with its funky rhythms which somehow never grip with the harshness you really desire. Mitchell is almost too polite to add sufficient distortion and bite to his beats. However, this allows you to listen to the whole album of an evening and for it to leave you with the knowledge that you'll want to come back again to visit the wondrous world of Clue to Kalo.
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