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Album of the Week: Principles of Geometry – ‘Burn the Land & Boil the Oceans’

Despite the rather scary title album number three isn’t particularly threatening.

By Spotlight

Artist: Principles of Geometry
Album: Burn the Land & Boil the Oceans
Label: Tigersushi
Release Date: 30/04/2012

After managing to grab plenty of attention with their first, self-titled album the pair also known as Guillaume Grosso and Jeremy Duval then turned more heads in the world of IDM and experimental electronic-fare with their second LP. Fans of John Carpenter soundtracks, Mux Mool, Warp, and Com Truise are certainly going to be rather excited then, as 2012 marks a third coming for the duo. 

Despite the rather scary title album number three isn’t particularly threatening. OK, so it is rather obscure, and there is an underlying sense of unease- as if the machines used to make these nostalgically futuristic tunes may well be plotting against us- but still, it’s not quite the apocalyptic moment one might be expecting.

This becomes abundantly clear when Dam Aicoab drops its mildly uplifting synth on top of a classic Casio bassline. Set to a slow electro tempo it’s as close to high concept Hollywood as you’re going to find in the middle of a production album like this, unless the tune in question is selected to soundtrack a big budget movie (which wouldn’t be too surprising, except for the fact it’s not 1986 anymore and tastes have changed). 

Digressions to one side hopefully you get the point. If not let us direct uncertain ears towards the unnervingly titled Enoma, a track comprising all the tracking rhythm section of a true instrumental Korg ballad, realised (thankfully) sans vocals, with significant attention to detail and an appreciation for timbre. Like everything else on here it’s cinematic to say the least, and as with any good narrative there are a few twists along the way too. 

Mongrel, for instance, is clearly informed by electroclash’s heyday, flashing menacing analogue keys and distorted, dance-punk vocals like snarling teeth the nastiness of said genre is retained but transposed to roughly 120 BPM. Once it’s there a f-ilthy funk sample is dropped in the middle, begging the question; Prince v The Hacker, anyone?

Similarly unique sounds are found on potential show stealer Deerhunt, which lays glittering background keys and a swathe of expansive synth notes atop a snare-roll-filled drum pattern. Throw in some rather well worked Buck 65-cum-Chilly Gonzales style spoken word lyricism and voila- experimental joy. In short, these beats and bleeps aren’t going to make you dance, but they will force you to sit up, listen, and take note.


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