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Love & Devotion

Heterotic

Love & Devotion

Label: Planet Mu

Genre: Electronica / Ambient / Experimental

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  • LP + MP3 COUPON €17.49
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Heterotic are a group formed from husband and wife production team Mike Paradinas and Lara Rix-Martin. Mike is the boss and founder of Planet Mu, and a celebrated producer in his own right as µ-Ziq. Their debut release is a composite of four striking instrumental tracks and four unique collaborations with Gravenhurst, the musical pen-name of Nick Talbot, who is known for his dark, folk tinged output on Warp. They were brought together by a mutual friend who sensed potential in the pairing. For both Nick and Mike, the project is something of a departure. ‘Love & Devotion’ displays a love of hazy, dreamy 1980s influenced electronic pop shot through with the dynamics and space of modern dance music. The lyrics describe a world that is profoundly haunted by its past. While the allusions to a key event are cloaked in ambiguity, their echoes in the present are described in visceral and magical detail. The result is an album of tightly coiled melodies cloaked in an insomniac haze, subtle harmonic shifts and strong vocal counter-melodies conveying sweeping sketches of a troubled, neon world. The LP opens with ‘Bliss’ – an aquatic, dreamlike instrumental that sets the scene for the record.
The tempo switches up for the 4/4 piano house of ‘Blue Lights’, a scene of nocturnal intrigue, with an ambiguous cat and mouse narrative delivered via Gravenhurst's insistent and memorable hook. ‘Wartime’ opens with a kick like a heavy heartbeat, the lyrics recalling a poignant, romantic scenario that in reality is just an idealised memory, modified and projected onto a half-imagined past. ‘Robo Corp’ – an evocative Vangelis-like instrumental – sustains that feeling, adding a subtle tension. As the blissful synthesised choirs build in the background, ‘Devotion’ presents a portrait of faded glamour and unfulfilled ambition. The mood is broken by the instrumental ‘Knell’ in which lines of synthesised guitar and harp intertwine until the track breaks into an unexpected coda, giving a sense of resolution. ‘Slumber’ takes things down to stumbling pace, the drum kicks buried in echo over a muted bassline, as the lyrics describe the solitude of empty streets in the early morning when the party is over and the detritus of a night's compulsion and excess are laid bare. ‘Fanfare’ is a suitable denouement with echoed 808 drums, mournful synthetic horns and a bassline that sound like a flickering opiated grime instrumental, finishing the album with a sense of bittersweet triumph.