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Languis - The Four Walls

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Artist: Languis

Album: The Four Walls

Label: Plug Research

Review date: Mar. 29, 2004

Languis (Marcos Chloca and Alejandro Cohen) combine electronics and pop with ambient atmospherics that make the band difficult to peg. The two musicians are deft producers and adequately tackle a variety of genres on their latest The Four Walls, but the lack of direction often sounds too whimsical and lacking in emotional impact.

The Four Walls sounds grounded in emulation, a catchy, but cosmetic conflation of several different styles. “Never Now” starts off with electronic babble punctuated by repetitive and annoying keyboard notes regrettably prevalent throughout the piece. Luckily an upward drum rhythm and guitar crescendo, a la Low Life-era New Order rescues the moment. “The Turning Point” initially comes off as heavily atmospheric ambient excursion until drum machines and a simulated horn section bring to mind the music of Spiritualized. “Constellations” with its strumming guitars and pop-influenced melodies resembles a sedated Beach Boys. “Morningside” is pure Vangelis-style ambiance that evokes panoramic views of urban Blade Runner-esque skylines. “Locked in Circles” is an electronic canvas propelled by a synthesizer gale that screams Sianspheric.

Hindering Languis’ songs are the low key, timid vocals cloaked behind filters, possibly demonstrating a lack of confidence in either Chloca or Cohen’s singing. This is especially cringe-worthy on ballads like “Side of the Road” and “Even When You Sleep.” Unless the vocals are accompanied by a fleet of processed sounds, the music goes nowhere.

Phrases like ‘atmospheric’ and ‘psychedelic’ are a little too simple to really describe Languis, but don’t confuse them with the genre-defiance that is generally the mark of accomplished musicians.

By I Khider

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