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Extractions

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Album Review

What proved in the end to be the only full proper Dif Juz album was a gentle marvel, showing the quartet building on the strengths of its initial releases to create a gripping, involving instrumental masterpiece. While not on the same level of transcendence as, say, Talk Talk's Laughing Stock or the first Orang album, those who appreciate either those bands or that of the band's contemporaries the Durutti Column will find much to love here. As opposed to the delicate-yet-full bodied work of Dif Juz's earliest days, Extractions finds the group exploring more in the studio than before, with additions like Thomas' fine sax playing and varying percussion instruments and styles clearly marking out the group's work more than before. "Crosswinds," the lengthy, majestic opener, shows the band's increased abilities in spades, Thomas' own work on both brass and beat to the fore. Robin Guthrie's echo-laden production is perfectly suited for the work at play; it's no surprise that Thomas contributed horns and percussion to later Cocteau Twins work, nor that Elizabeth Fraser added vocals for "Love Insane." She takes the soft approach on this number, her gentle vocals mixing with Thomas' sax just so. Other fine numbers include "A Starting Point," its changing rhythms and rich wash of guitars a lovely extrapolation of the original, sparer Dif Juz sound, and the mysterious, buried chime pattern which leads off the fine "The Last Day." An unusual bonus appears at the end of the CD version of the album — four tracks, two each from the band's first EPs, Huremics and Vibrating Air. The release of Soundpool supersedes the need for such extras, but they do make a useful addition for those without said disc; the Vibrating Air selections are slightly rerecorded and remixed with a little extra drama and drive.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

Early proponents of what only later became the 4AD sound, Dif Juz concentrated on just that, lacking a vocalist on all their recordings except for a guest spot or two by the Cocteau Twins' Liz Fraser. Originally formed as the punk band London Pride by brothers Dave and Alan Curtis, the band included bassist Gary Bromley and drummer Richie Thomas by the release of two EPs for 4AD Records in 1981, Huremics and Vibrating Air. Both works contained textured instrumentals with a wispy, barely there feel...
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Extractions, Dif Juz
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