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Album Review

Released just under a year after their brilliant Museum of Imaginary Animals, Pram's Somniloquy EP features remixes from that album by likeminded artists such as Plone and Andy Votel, as well as three new songs. Beginning with one of Museum's finest tracks, "Mother of Pearl," Somniloquy expands on the otherworldly, submerged feel of Pram's recent work. The eerie, weightless ballad "Clock Without Hands" also could've appeared on that album, while "Play of the Waves (Balky Mule Mix)" and "A Million Bubbles Burst (Sir Real Mix)" don't stray too far from their origins, despite their more beat-oriented, electronic makeovers. Plone's remix of "Bewitched" is something of a departure, leaving only the original's bouncy melody and surrounding it with layers of chunky, fuzzy synth. Votel's "The Last Astronaut" remix might be Somniloquy's most sublime moment, mixing the laid-back feel of late-'60s instrumental pop with a dreamy, dub-inspired atmosphere and ethereal vocals. Other songs on the EP point toward a slightly more down-to-earth approach and emphasize Pram's jazzy leanings. "The Way of the Mongoose," which begins as a drums-n-theremin groove before adding playfully slinky organs, horns, and guitar, and the lively, kinetic "Monkey Puzzle" both reaffirm that, though Pram has staked out a distinctive musical territory, the group reshapes it continually, even on between-album EPs.


Formed: 1990 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

As indicated by their name, Pram brought a distinctly childlike world-view to their uniquely cinematic brand of fractured electro-pop; unlike the cutesy, baby-doll mentality that informed the work of many of their more whimsical contemporaries, however, the group's vision of childhood was decidedly nightmarish, evoking a hallucinatory world of helplessness and fear. Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1990, Pram originally fostered an aesthetic consisting primarily of frontwoman Rosie Cuckston's eerie...
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Somniloquy, Pram
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