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The Wave Room
Love Medicine
(Bella Union)


The Wave Room is the latest artist to emerge from the British Bella Union stable of bands. This new album is the brainchild of Hamish Mackintosh who combines numerous elements together to forge his unique electronic ba sed craft. His vocals are as smooth and floating as his compositions; cr eating a well rounded listening experience. You've got to also notice th e guests involved and the directions the music takes because of these uni ons.

You know from the opening track, "Atlas Of Hands" that you are in for a t reat. A subtle dance-able beat (not necessarily a "dance-beat") carries along an easy textural passage. Mackintosh's voice sets the tone for the song with its steady tone and delivery. The chorus swells with a mass o f backing vocals and keyboard flourishes. There is an inherent vibe in " One For The River" that just soothes the soul. Could it be Mackintosh's airy and heartfelt vocals? Could it be Robin Guthrie's guitar and produc tion? What about that understated drum programming-those pipe sounds-tho se spoken bits? The strengths all work together to produce a highly imme rsing tune. Mackintosh brings bass god Jah Wobble to aid the dub-laden r eaches of "Houdini." To take the tune in an entirely different direction , live sitar (courtesy of Paul Wright) mixes with the toasting and bass l eadings. Samples and keyboard intrusions color the scene, creating a uni que work indeed. Mackintosh takes a heartfelt look at getting older on t he pastoral "Manna." "Dreaming In Tongues" builds on a textural field of keyboard melody and bass until it reaches the gloriousness of its sweepi ng chorus. Many of the finest elements of smooth British pop fill the gr ooves. Nods go out to everybody from Roxy Music to The Christians to the better elements of Simple Minds. "Second Box" relies on that subdued pr ogramming again, and much more keyboard noise. In addition to the lead v amp, Mackintosh adds watery elements and carefully placed noise to play a gainst his thoroughly appealing vocals. "Memory One" continues this them e. You can groove to that guitar melody and the Manchester-era styled dr um and bass structure. You'll feel familiar with this one. Do I smell a possible hit single?

The Wave Room has provided us with a unique and avant-garde record that y ou can actually listen to. Mackintosh takes standard building blocks and fashions them with his own brand of mortar...think of a red brick buildi ng put together with black mortar. It'd seem a little off kilter, yet to tally acceptable, especially after seeing it for a few times. That's Lov e Medicine: an experimental, yet approachable record. These compositions are not too far away from the mainstream, yet the slightly challenging e lements may keep the masses from the exposure worthy of this record. Tha t's okay with me, because for now it'll be my little secret that I will g ladly enjoy over and over again.

-tom topkoff

Track Listing:
1. Atlas Of Hands
2. Dreaming In Tongues
3. Anywhere Here Is Now
4. One For The River
5. Memory One
6. Second Box
7. Houdini
8. Manna
9. Oneday Someday Soon
10. Love Medicine


 







 


Mike Doughty



none now
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