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Aereogramme

Seclusion (Sonic Unyon)

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Aereogramme is a study in extremes. It embraces the (very) soft-LOUD-soft methodology of Mogwai; the singing aches with harmonious, little-boy-lost melancholy one moment and shrieking, disemboweled torment the next. The songs themselves range from naive, simple tunefulness to massive slabs of monolithic metal riffs to saturnine, ambient soundscapes -- within the same song.

In "Dreams and Bridges," gauzy, Pink Floyd-like vocals do a high-wire act between Black Sabbath power chords and surreal, psychedelic-flavored ornamentation before dissolving in a billowy haze. The instrumental closer "Alternate Score" begins like a flickering mirage, evoking Brian Eno's Music for Films and building toward a panoramic finale worthy of soundtrack masters John Barry and Jerry Goldsmith. While not exactly bursting with originality, Seclusion is an enjoyable mini-album (a smidgen over 30 minutes) by an ensemble that knows how to orchestrate the players' competing impulses in a compelling manner.

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