A smooth, crafted electronic second album from Japan’s Speedometer, relaxing and comfortable, but with an eye open for the weird bits that make it all that crucial bit more interesting than what could easily have been the case. Speedometer have produced a more coffee bar-friendly version of the progressive electronica left-field pop pioneered by Coldcut and his Ninja Tune friends.

This is, however, not mere background noise, and several of the tracks offer more than the occasional turn of phrase. The sleazy “Think Again,” say, slyly cites Mancini, and “Wake Up Afternoon” is a lazy stroll with great sampling and a clever rhythm that knows when to hold back.

An electronic pop dance album in the vein of Zero 7, Speedometer also take inspiration from artists as diverse as DJ Krush and the entire DJ Kicks-series, but aren’t weirder than that when the frantic noise repetitions of “New Hawaii” pops up, it seems remarkably out of place.

Lakeshore Records: http://www.lakeshore-records.com

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