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Album Review
Particle and Wave

Particle and Wave
by Avoid!Avoid

Flying Nun Records

Review Date
6th April 2016
Reviewed by
Nich Cunningham

If there is something avoid!avoid lack, it isn’t motivation: not even six months after releasing their teasing Low Earth Orbit EP comes the band’s full-length debut. Already the trio have carved themselves a inviting ambient Krautrock niche, and Particle and Wave sees them broadening their expansive sound.

Album opener 'Polytechnik' makes plain the band’s trajectory: It also echoes the educational theme hinted at on the EP track 'Achieved Not Achieved'. The initial prelude features a sinister bass line and irritable ambient guitar that are kicked into gear by the arrival of the predatorial beat. The meandering noise guitar floating over the the stubbornly persistent rhythm section sets the tones for the whole record - that of a rich pulsating and enveloping atmospheric murmur. Despite its simplicity avoid!avoid’s music fails to become tiresome, instead producing something akin to a hazy fugue state. As John Campbell would say: ”Splendid”.

Where the first side demonstrates an increasingly self-confident and sophisticated band, the second harks back to avoid!avoid’s EP: These songs seem smaller but more driven. The centre piece of side two is, ironically, 'Low Earth Orbit' which suggests an otherworldly union between Kraftwerk and Vangelis.

It’s odd to think of a band as an improved version of themselves, but that is precisely what Particle and Wave offers. Despite a restricted palette, avoid!avoid make the most of minimalism resulting a suspension of time that allows seven minute songs to float by. It’s no mean feat. avoid!avoid are formidable practitioners and bringers of light.


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