Lilies

by: Arovane

Four years after the last proper Arovane album -- a collaboration with Phonem and a compilation of previously 12"-only material intervened -- Lilies will also allegedly be followed by another stretch of relative inactivity for producer Uwe Zahn. Just as 2000's Tides followed a trip to France, Lilies was made after some time spent in Japan, though there isn't a whole lot of evidence of that; excepting a few slight samples and one contribution from vocalist Kazumi, the album is very much a continuation of Tides, with many of the same motifs present (fluttering harpsichords, tingling hi-hats, soft-smear strings, fine keyboard patterns). Bursting with florescent melodies propelled by creative beat-making, these nine tracks (in a very tight, digestible 37 minutes) reaffirm that, despite Zahn's beginnings as a follower and scores of nondescript peers working in roughly the same field, the producer has carved out a sound of his own -- one that's as discernible as Boards of Canada's oft-filched (but never successfully cloned) take on downtempo IDM. The worst aspect of Zahn's period of silence might not be the silence itself, but the inevitable crop of laptop producers who will attempt -- and fail -- to fill the void. ~ Andy Kellman

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