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Last Frequency Presets

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Album Review

There's a debate in the realm of electronic music over what is designed more for and by folks who actually go out clubbing and those who would prefer to stay at home and possibly listen more to indie records than anything else. Languis' Last Frequency Presets helps to show how this artificially perceived barrier need not exist — there's little of tentative apologia for the lush, varied combination of beat and sampling approaches and plenty of open-armed embrace. At the same time, there's a gently downbeat wistfulness at many points that explains why fans of Land of the Loops and Fingernail will likely appreciate this enjoyable album more than the active rave crowd. Everything from crackling glitch to full-bodied breakbeats is at the heart of Languis' rhythm attacks, demonstrating a range of possibilities instead of focused fidelity. Where there is continuity and melancholy in combination is the use of gently warm keyboards caught somewhere between '70s lounge drifting and more modern contemplations, sometimes with sparkling, even sunny results — consider "Sirenia" as a particularly beautiful example. The occasional guitar work suggests a love for the Cure and New Order — the title track in particular shows that much, in an inspiring and beautiful way. There's an obvious affinity to the likes of Aphex Twin, though generally aiming more at a middle ground between ambient and noise approaches, often blending both very well (try "Altap Magnesium Pro" for a great example). Touches like the stuttering vocodered singing on "Flamedrops" and the slightly smoother "Hyper Calm" suggest Air's wounded-but-wry human touches (more so than Daft Punk's, say), but Languis on the whole takes obvious inspirations as starting points and comes up with promising, enjoyable spins on them.


Formed: 1998

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The duo known as Languis -- Marcos Chloca and Alejandro Cohen -- has been making music together since 1991, when they were both classmates in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1996, they sold their guitars and amps and moved to Los Angeles, where they occasionally perform with other artists who are associated with that city's somewhat experimental, underground lo-fi electronic movement, much of it centered around the Internet-based "dublab" collective Musically, Languis' recordings may remind...
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