Up In Flames
Some have dubbed Manitoba's sophomore release a paradigm-shifting disc in electronic pop music. While Up in Flames certainly fails to live up to such adulations, there's still more than enough to enjoy. Manitoba is Canadian Dan Snaith, a man with a penchant for blending breezy electronica with out-there psychedelic rock (all the same tackling shoegazer, surf, glitch and what have you not). The result should by all accounts have been a fun, sprawling affair, but Snaith somehow finds there's a system to this madness, that there's kaleidoscopic beauty beneath chaotic sample-mania.
"I've Lived on a Dirt Road All My Life" offers psychedelic shoegazer-electro laced with circus-like Sgt. Pepper-atmospherics, and "Hendrix with KO" is a storming indie rave-up. "Bijoux" and "Twins" present a digital take on the Flaming Lips' epic psych-pop, while "Crayon" is a glockenspiel-endorsed Boards of Canada on helium.
Up in Flames isn't the next revolution of electro-pop, but it's a damn good try. Manitoba has made an irresistible album that bounces of the walls, moving in every direction at once, yet always falling back into line with itself. Impressive, thoughtful and ridiculously fun.
Domino Recording Co., Ltd.: http://www.dominorecordco.com/