ELECTRONICA

 

Latest releases reviewed

AIR
Pocket Symphony
Astralwerks
****

In an age when you can carry the entire works of the great composers around in your back pocket and still have room for Tubular Bells, the French band's new album is aptly named. Citing Satie, Ravel and Ruyuichi Sakamoto as influences, Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel fashion another of their signature prog-lounge meisterwerks, sometimes harking back to Moon Safari's playful, atmospheric pop, but mostly expanding on the exploratory lines of 2004's Talkie Walkie. Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon contribute guest vocals (and lyrics): Cocker weaves a hangover blues on One Hell of a Party, while Hannon has a paranoid interlude on Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping. Left Bank chills out on a José Gonzalez-style classical guitar motif, while Mer du Japon is an aquatic excursion using traditional Japanese instruments (the koto and shamisen) and the vintage synth sounds of Yellow Magic Orchestra. Make room in your back pocket. www.pocket-symphony.com