Bows

Bows

Blush

Too Pure/Beggars Banquet

Go back a moment and look at the label again. Too Pure. Sound familiar? Too Pure has followed in the steps of the great 4AD label and have developed into a specialized “sound.” You’ve heard it in artists like Pram, Mouse on Mars, Laika, and Seefeel, that beautiful hybrid of organic and electronic music.

Bows is the project of Luke Sutherland, also of Long Fin Killie and occasionally Mogwai. Bows is as ethereal as Mogwai is earthy, and much more electronic. The vocals of Ruth Sutherland and Danish singer Signe Høirup Wille-Jørgensen adorn this album above the fluttering levels of tremolo guitars.

Drum ‘n bass exists in so many permutations that it’s difficult to locate a fitting category for an artist. Bows lies within the same direction as Omni Trio, with their crisp, elegant and flowing drums. These drums are stronger and stiffer than other drum ‘n bass exponents, perhaps taking cue from the rigid tech-step. The tremolo guitars add a thick and cloudy haze to the proceedings and give this CD a sense of texture that many other “ethereal” bands lack.

“Britannica” is the standout track here. The makeup of the song is not so unlike the others on the album, but it just works so well with it’s sirenlike vocals and flowing, corkscrewing drums. “Girls Lips Glitter” is another brilliant song with male vocals — the album’s vocal makeup is largely female. The CD ends in a monstrous drone reminiscent of Low’s “Do You Know How to Waltz?”

Blush is an excellent album that keeps the Too Pure tradition of excellence going. Bonus points for the stunning packaging. Lots of bonus points.

Beggars Banquet, 580 Broadway, Suite 1004, New York, NY 10012; http://www.beggars.com

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