Photophob is back with a sophomore release on Hive Records, and given the fact that the label is also home to such distorted breakbeat butchers as Mash Up Soundsystem and Pneumatic Detach, it's really quite a surprise how mellow this CD is. Built mostly from moody drum 'n' bass rhythms and adorned with soothing ambient textures, these tracks are abstract and clinical without straying into the more brutal realms of experimental electronics. There are hints of dark-edged humor on "Bad Habits No. 1 To No. 7," in which a prim and proper voice reading a list of unpleasant behaviors is accelerated to chipmunk speed, scratched DJ-style, and otherwise manipulated, while "Still Warm (Why Not?)" evokes nervous tension with its slightly-distorted rhythmic skittering. By and large, though, this album is less nervewracking than laid back and pleasant; "Last Judgement Show Ticket" is moody but warm, for example, while the synthetic harmonies of "A God Given Gift" are emotive and bittersweet. More than just a soothing balm after a night of rhythmic noise terrors, Photophob's intellectual but mellow chill-out music is accessible enough even to appeal to fans of the experimental techno of such artists as Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada.
Visit Photophob online at www.photophob.net.
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