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George & Caplin — Things Past
(Beta-lactam Ring mt109a, 2006, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01

Things Past Cover artMy previous experiences with George & Caplin (real names Jason Fredrick Iselin and Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens) tagged them with “Kraftwerk meets New Order.” And while that description is still appropriate, they’ve taken a turn towards ambient music this time out. There are none of the bouncy New Order tracks that graced their last album, though a tinge of 80s pop is still there from time to time in the vocal tracks. I suppose nothing here really qualifies as ambient in the truest sense of the word, since there are always chord progressions going on, and some sort of a pulse, but this is a very atmospheric CD, quiet and subtle. Not a good choice for playing in the car during a long night drive unless you’re feeling suicidal. Their knack for crafting simple music that transcends its simplicity is intact, and even when there seems to be little going on, very subtle touches can maintain interest, though you have to pay attention, since nothing jumps out at you. I admire this work a lot, even if it’s not the kind of thing I’m likely to pull out frequently – it’s more of a mood kind of thing.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): George & Caplin

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