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Sliding Words — (Fonetic)
(Atypeek Music , 2018, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-12-20
Since the initial development of the style called trip-hop back in the 90s, a significant portion of the bands have featured a female vocalist and one or two male instrumentalists: Portishead, Lamb, Hooverphonic, Olive, Morcheeba, and so on. The combination of ethereal vocals and moody electronics has been a winning formula since then, appearing in many variations and configurations since then. Sliding Words is based in Lyon, and their take on the style brings several interesting qualities to bear. First of all, both Maÿwen and Kapian play and sing, though Maÿwen’s beautiful voice dominates. She also contributes guitar, bass, piano, kalimba, and harp. Kapian sings less, and handles, guitar, bass, and electronics. Some of the artists who come to mind while listening to (fonetic) are Björk, Moby, and Lamb, though on the whole I’d say their sound is distinctive enough to be worth checking out. Acoustic and electric instruments blend seamlessly with samples and processing to produce a variety of moods, from ambient floating to head-bobbing grooves and many spots in between. Samples of voices are used to good effect without seeming gimmicky, and there are a few touches, like the use of vinyl noise, that provide atmosphere but aren’t used to the point of provoking annoyance. The way the acoustic instruments are blended together with high-tech processing gives the music a timeless sound that is organic in spite of the technological manipulations. This is excellent headphones music, with lots of depth and variety, full of imagination and good taste.
Related artist(s): Sliding Words
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