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by
27 October, 2005@12:00 am
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    It’s fair to say that Adam Drucker has a unique voice. If you’ve heard him on record as Dose One, (whether solo, with Boom Bip, as a member of cLOUDDEAD or Subtle, and with beat magician Jel and keyboardist Dax as Themselves), chances are that his incredibly nasal but pliable tones either fascinate you or repel you; it’s unlikely that he’ll leave you indifferent. Extremes are something that Dose One has made a habit of playing with in his lyrics as well, with favoured subjects frequently including masturbation and suicide- not that this is always obvious when listening to him spit his surreal, oblique poetry, which he has a tendency to fire off at obscenely high speeds as a challenge both to himself and the listener.

    On this album the challenge takes the form of Themselves and German glitchpop band The Notwist trying to combine their musical approachs without the result sounding like a compromise. Unfortunately, whilst the results are always atmospheric, often pretty and sometimes startling, the alliance is not a particularly assured one, and you can often feel the rough edges of tracks created after only a day or so in the studio. Tellingly, it is the tracks that might have been created by one of the groups on their own that hit hardest; The Notwist’s voices shining on the warmly throbbing Men Of Station and menacing intimacy of Perfect Speed, and Themselves all taking to the mic for the wonderful Soft Atlas, a sing-song concept track wrapped in Dose One’s murmuring.

   Other tracks straddle the divide unhappily; although not bad, they seem lacking in definition either instrumentally or lyrically (strung out over the seven minutes of Superman On Ice, Dose One seems more a lost wanderer than the track’s focus). As a result, what might have been a genre-bending explosion ends up an occasionally delightful curiosity that never fulfils its potential for more than a track at a time. It would have been lazily easy to predict that if you loved Dose One or The Notwist, you’d love this album; but the truth is you’ll probably just like it at best.

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