Midnight Sound

Ninja Tune

After a few listens, the laid-back jazziness of this record is finally starting to make some sort of coherent sense. That is not to say it is all that disconcerting or revolutionary, but rather an interesting approach toward live “electronic” music (used very loosely).

Remember when Squarepusher took the whole drum and jazz thing to an absurd level, releasing records that all the art kids pretended to be really into? Well, on Midnight Sound, we hear another, less busy interpretation of that idea. The instrumentation, arrangement, and sound quality are excellent, appealing to both the fanatic of live, acoustic instruments as well as incorporating a hearty dose of analog keyboards, programming, and bleeps. To Flanger’s credit, the easy and over-used sounds of filters and spazzing-out synths are kept to such a minimum that they actually add to the music.

I am sorry I didn’t pay more attention to this record earlier. It is quite a relaxing album that doesn’t put you to sleep, and it provides a much-needed break from jazz shows on NPR. Like St. Germain’s debut on Blue Note, and the avant trip-hop that is finally being released to mass appeal, Flanger has created a minimalist soundscape to play at your next cocktail party.

Oh, and they use the best microphones the world has ever known•and they’re proud of it. Well, Flanger, at least me and Neumann understand.

Ninja Tune, 1751 Richardson, Suite 4501, Montreal, Quebec H3K 1G6, http://www.ninjatune.net

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