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|3. Cut Up Piano And Xylophone|
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|6. Sample And Clicks|
|7. Drums Bass Sonics And Edit|
|9. Long Singing|
This is the fourth album proper (discounting 1998's Sevens and Twelves) for the pioneering London-by-way-of-Putney post-rocktronic trio. Doing away for the most part with the sampled second-line beats and found textures prevalent on EPH, the etudes on Happiness work the band's collection of quasi-exotic instrumentation (kalimba, xylophone, and glockenspiel to name but three) through subtle digital reconstitution schemes, resulting in a far more intimate and inviting sound field. Cheeky song titles delineate the combinations: the blissed-out "Cut Up Piano and Xylophone" wisely works a reverse-skidding effect, unfortunately ending far before the listener can achieve the intended alpha-state; "Harmonics" strums open chords underneath an involved polyrhythmic pulse built out of sampled acoustic guitar picking; "Tone Guitar and Drum Noise," with its endlessly skidding percussion manages to hip-check Milford Graves and Augustus Pablo simultaneously (not an easy feat). The occasional detour (such as "Drums Bass Sonics and Edit") does little to destroy the reigning pastoral mood. Results overall are nothing short of gorgeous, the lengths gone to pierce a new angle through the rock-trio aegis ultimately pay off in a unique offering, contemporary and ages old. --Keith Fullerton Whitman
Top Customer Reviews
One of the guys in Fridge releases albums under the name Four Tet, his latest, called Pause, is an umistakably gorgeous album, easily up there with Boards of Canada's Music Has The Right To Children.
Happiness is almost a companion album to that. It has much the same quality of sound: lush, orchestral or gamelan style electronics. It's very organic.
The difference is that Happiness is more abstract, the songs have a more open structure, not built around songs, but almost a mindset, a development of a certain happy place. Once that place is reached, the song is complete.
In some ways its a strange album, and yet, it urges itself to be listened to. It's been on my stereo for a month now, happily in rotation.