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<<RINOCROSE>> Installation Sonore. (V2). An EP released earlier this summer was the first sign that something unusual was stirring in the weird Gallic world of <<Rinocerose>>. (Their spelling, apparently after a painting by a mentally disturbed person.)

Actually, French music is currently at an all-time high with the Air, Daft Punk, Cassius axis blazing a trail for cool disco vibes. It's the artsiness of the French that adds interest and perhaps the artsiest of 'em all is <<Rinocerose>>. Installation Sonore is a bold debut from this collective (they don't like the term 'band').

Founding duo Jean Philippe and Patou have enlisted an army of guitarists, a flautist, bass player and projectionist to flesh out their bones. Jonny Palumbo's programming adds the magic touch.

With such a wide range of co-conspirators, it's not surprising that the album is so diverse. Indeed, it's almost an embarrassment of riches. As hinted at earlier, guitars are important in <<Rinocerose>>'s world but, being French, cool and arty don't expect any plank-spankery.

Often reduced to simple sonic textures, via the use of the e-bow (a device which allows infinite sustain by bowing the strings rather than plucking them) the effect is somewhat similar to Mogwai or My Bloody Valentine. But this is dance music not indie student tosh.

The other telling influence is dub in the spaces in the mix. Opener La Guitaristic House Organisation is the outfit's manifesto neatly summed up in seven blissed-out minutes. Treated vocals, sublime guitars and deft drum programming contribute to a groove that can't be ignored.

323 Secondes de Musique Repetitive avec Guitare Espagnole (boy, these catchy titles!) is precisely that, but much more fun than it sounds. Popular Mechanics is pounding rubber dub and impossible to ignore. Le Triangle features that mainstay of the school orchestra to funky effect. There's a really cool summer vibe flowing through this album, quite similar to underrated British band The Egg. Live they should be a treat. HHHH

PLUTONIK. Prime Numbers (Integrity). Here's a short sharp shock to those who reckon drum and bass has run out of steam. This album is one of the most talked about debuts in a long time and was Tower's fastest selling album last week.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 31, 1999
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