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by: Nosaj Thing

After releasing Drift, his first album, Jason Chung diversified. He remixed the xx's "Islands," Charlotte Gainsbourg's "Heaven Can Wait," and a piece of Phillip Glass' Einstein on the Beach, and he also produced Kendrick Lamar's "Cloud 10." Given that activity, the mellowness and restraint of his second album is surprising. A pair of collaborations with vocalists actually heightens its pained, private sound; they both convey the feeling of regretfully watching a relationship slip away. "Eclipse/Blue," featuring Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino, switches from anxious thumps to hovering textures, while "Try," featuring Chaz Bundick (Toro y Moi)," is soft, fuzzy, and slightly off-center. Those appearances have a kind of lingering effect on the nine remaining tracks, all instrumentals. The glinting "Glue" and well-titled "Snap" excepted, they lack the muscle of Chung's earlier releases, but they're more evocative -- detailed enough to withstand numerous plays whenever comforting, if downcast and unobtrusive hip-hop is sought. ~ Andy Kellman

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