Its clear that Daniel Snaith, aka Manitoba, has been digging out a lot of old “shoegazing” records from the early nineties since the laptop glitch-fest of debut “Stop breaking my heart”. There are elements of MBV’s sonic experimentalism with vocals pitched beneath a fuzz of hazy effects and even – whisper it – Chapterhouse whose under-cherished Blood Music lp succesfully exploited the genre’s potential for experimenting with electronic music in the persuit of creating an even denser wall of sound. To be fair, Leaf Records has always had the tendency to drift away from the perceived boundaries of some of its contemporaries – but this was still a bit of a shock. The closest comparisons I can make is of the Boo Radleys’ Sice attempting to sing Radial Spangle songs under the direction of Four Tet. I realise that for some of you, that description means as much to you as a New Labour manifesto and is just as difficult to comprehend so perhaps I’ll cut to the chase: Up In Flames is fine summer-music for the 21st century. Clever electronics underpin lovely hazy melodies throughout the album. It never strays far from this underexplored template but highlight tracks like “I’ve lived on a dirt-track all my life”, “Hendrix KO” and single “Jacknuggeted” exemplify that Snaith has stumbled across a winning formula. Of course the next album will be completely different, so seize the moment and invest in the aural equivalent of waking up at 6pm on a sunny day at a festival with the afternoon’s local cider adding to the blissul confusion. That’s meant to be a good thing!