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Second Sight

The sophomore CD release is a collection of singles that sounds almost as if Phoneheads aimed for them to work together as an album. Producers Michael Scheibenreiter and Phillipp Maiburg have created some frenzied up-tempo, break-beat tunes that maintain a strong melodic sense and weave rapidly through a wide array of styles. Second Sight displays Phoneheadís passion for seducing your ears with bustling, atmospheric synth pads and then revving you up with fast and furious break-beats and gritty filtered bass lines.

Opening with the title track "Second Sight," Phoneheads gradually draws you in with their lush keyboards and Latin percussion that eventually transforms into their signature drum and bass breaks. On "Shell," they feature the same styled breaks fused with fashionable lounge melodies. The contrast of the tricky sequencing and abrasive bass contrasts nicely with the clean jazz sounds. If this chilled out downbeat is your style be sure and check out the closing tune "Maracanses." For all you DJs, itís familiar hip hop break and beautiful Rhodes work and bass lines are good enough to work right alongside Massive Attackís "Blue Lines."

If you enjoy more of the hard-hitting aspects of drum Ďn bass, Second Sight has plenty of these elements as well. "Faithhealer" aligns fast breaks with fat, wobbly sub-base and a vocoder vocal line that Phoneheads managed to work in without causing it to sound played out. They thankfully left it as spoken dialogue without the tired time-stretching filter. "Death of Distance" features MC Glacius and MC Ronin and their heavy, Jungle flavored rhymes skimming the top of rolling cymbals, synth-lines, and more distorted rinsed-out sub-bass.

Don Jovani, the guitarist of Fuschimuschi, lends his guitar playing on "Solex," an atmospheric track with the ambience of early Bukem material and dub styled bass arrangements. Jovani also worked on "Talent," a straight-up dense and minimal break piece. This style is continued over into "Fourth Flight" with the aid of guest producer Green Man. "Search ID" has more of their clobbering breaks and enough reversed digital effects to keep you head spinning for a while. A large sum of Phoneheads music employs an artfully futuristic edge like breaks but steered away from the overly dark sounds that attached themselves to the late nineties jungle material. "Lesmo," while dark, is one of those tunes that is both moody and quick paced at the same time. Itís as if it were written as a closing tune for your favorite drama flick.

Luckily this wonít be the last of Phoneheads. Be on the look out, it will be interesting to see what move they make next. If their collection of singles worked this well, I canít wait to hear the next full-length.

-Justin Hardison

Track Listing:

1. Second Sight

2. Faithhealer

3. Death of Distance feat. MC Glacius & MC Ronin

4. Solex feat. Don Jovani & Action Gunar

5. Shell

6. Talent feat. Orson

7. Fourth Flight feat. The Green Man

8. Search ID

9. Lesmo

10. Maracanses

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