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Album Review

Hovercraft meets Stereolab. This is not a description of Schema's style, it's actually who they are. Campbell, Sadie, and Ric of Hovercraft teamed up with Stereolab singer Mary Hansen to record this 36-minute disc in 1999. The project was christened Schema and released in September 2000 by the Olympia, WA, label 5RC. Four six-minute tracks surround "Echolalia... Curvilinear," 12 minutes, the album's center of attention. Drawing from space rock, psychedelic rock, ambient pop, and artsy avant-rock commonly found on 5RC (Godzik Pink, Get Hustle), Schema delivers a healthy dose of music best epitomized by the end of the aforementioned piece: ethereal female vocals, lots of guitar noise, and a driving rhythm section. And yet, "Unde" seemed to indicate that Schema would be another post-rock band basking in Tortoise's glory. Not at all. "We Think We're Sane" and "Far from Where We Began" are catchy pop tunes with a heavy space rock feel (think Stereolab backed by Hawkwind) and "Getting Smart" takes the listener into ambient pop, bringing Schema very close to Hansen's best-known grounds. All in all a strong, if short, debut from an outfit that has the required potential to become more than just a momentary spin-off venture. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Schema, Schema
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