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Hideout

Dub Tractor

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Album Review

Having an electronic musician "go indie" isn't automatically a better thing than the reverse path, obviously, but if the musician in question brings enough talent to the approach, that's another story. So then the background of Dub Tractor aka Anders Remmer, who on his second solo effort under his stage name creates a convincing and often quite beautiful sense of what rock music of the future might be like — less concerned with a continually rebuilt tradition and more with reassembling the elements into different ways. Opening song "I Woke Up," with its shoegaze-friendly wash, is soothing on the one hand but nervously sharp on the other, beats and glitches shattering through the mix like broken glass. It sets the feeling for Hideout well, where the core rhythms, however minimal, always sound like they're setting the tone instead of being slathered on secondarily. What the music suggests at points can almost be surprising — the beginning of "Droplets," particularly the melody, almost suggests a slower version of Depeche Mode's underrated "My Secret Garden," just as dreamily distant but in a much different way. At its busiest, such as on "I'm Like You," Dub Tractor still retains a lot of space and moody textures, but the collage of beats and echo is not merely propulsive but astoundingly precise — indeed, the production throughout is amazingly sharp, with the briefest of tones and crackles having a much greater impact than their relative volume. If Hideout compares to anything it might be Labradford in its transitional phase from psych/drone to a more fragile, deliberate sense of arranging — the guitar on "Much Better Than This" in particular calls that band to mind — but Dub Tractor very much have a different aesthetic in mind, and it shows wonderfully here.

Hideout, Dub Tractor
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