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Album Review : Baikonur - Your Ear Knows Future

On this second full-length release from Brighton-based Air contemporary and fellow Frenchman Jean-Emmanuel Krieger the blueprint set down with debut album For the Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos is expanded upon to good effect. Where that record was judged alongside the aforementioned Air's Talkie Walkie these nine new tracks bear comparison more with the likes of Stereolab or Neu! The longest track particularly (the eight minute 'Ye Ama Piooo!') is a repeating, riff heavy Krautrocker if ever there was one.


Riffs are a very obvious feature of the album as a whole this time round as it goes. After an initial "distorted radio/signals from space" intro the first proper tune, 'Shikarettes and Khukuris', begins in a jaunty but hard edged style that goes on to ape 1970s Wire as it builds to a heavier mood from the mid-point onwards before drifting to a close. Track three, 'Chiru', achieves a quite glacial sound after an initial bout of guitar histrionics. Beginning with what sounds like pennies being spun on a tin tray, fourth song 'Fly Tiger' is the first to properly exploit the rockier leanings of the sound being pursued herein - think Tangerine Dream or Animals-era Floyd. Titled like a possible Ray Bradbury story next up is 'Double Happiness Wholesale', a dreamyand far too short little number.

Track seven, 'Tombahead', brought to mind Dr. Phibes & The House of Wax Equations with its jazz-inflected, indie space-rock sound. Very pleasant it is too. Penultimate tune 'Summer Grass/Winter Worm' draws you in with a 'Catch The Breeze'-esque synth wash before morphing into a countryfied Live At Pompeii epic. Lastly we come to Look... Wa! which is probably the poppiest track of the lot, with some quite Sixties distortion on the guitar at times and a very funky bassline. It gets janglier as it goes then returns to the Krautrock riffing from earlier in the proceedings to bring things to a nicely circuituous ending. All in all then a worthwhile addition to your collection.

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