Fifth studio album from Brooklyn's Xeno & Oaklander. The minimal synth duo have been turning out dark and moody synth pop for a decade now. Topiary, the duo's second effort for Ghostly International, finds them moving out of the confines of their Brooklyn based home studio. They decamped to the Clubhouse, a painting and music studio built in Connecticut in 1991 by members of the Tom Tom Club, to record the album. While not drastically different from the direction of previous releases, Topiary puts more emphasis on Liz Wendelbo's vocals. Sean McBride (aka Martial Canterel) builds dense compositions of analog synths and drum machines that provide the perfect backing. The sound is more lush than previous releases, the mix making space for all of the elements the duo brings to their songs. "Virtues And Vice" evinces a more synthetic Broadcast, while "Palms" heads in a more electro direction. Nine tracks in all. Released by Ghostly International on black vinyl with a download code.
- digital download included
- music label: Ghostly International 2016
reviewed by Hank Ohs 06/2016
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