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Broken and Blue - EP

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Album Review

For a band who began life as Stereolab copyists, the first track on the Broken and Blue EP shows just how far from their roots Flowchart has traveled. The song "Broken and Blue" is a stuttering tech-house track with Todd Edwards-style spliced-up soul-diva vocals that sounds like authentic dance music. At seven and a half minutes, it is few minutes too long, but the song is so bright and sparkly you won't mind too much. The rest of the disc pretty much follows the same stylistic course with varying degrees of success. The glitchy remix of "Broken and Blue" (titled "Broken Balloon") is an interestingly moody recast of the track, but the Rob Paine remix is dull and repetitive. The most successful track is "Warm and Quirky," which cuts the bpms and raises the kicking-back-and-relaxing-on-a-summer-day quotient quite a bit. It provides a nice respite from the dancefloor bent of the rest of the disc. Flowchart will probably lose any remaining fans that remember them from the days of ripping off the Lab, but maybe they will win a few fans of intelligent dance music with this decent foray into the world of straight-up tech-house and electronic dance music.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

When Flowchart debuted with 1995's Multi-Personality Tabletop Vacation (Carrot Top), the Philadelphia group was equally derided/lauded for its striking similarities to space pop veterans Stereolab and Neu!. Many accused the band of blatant thievery, but there was also a grudging admiration for its detailed and entertaining facsimile. Luckily, Flowchart mastermind Sean O'Neal muted and expanded on his influences after Tabletop, a move which largely evened out the polarized reaction to his work. 1996's...
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Broken and Blue - EP, Flowchart
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