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Fridge – Eph

Label: Go Beat Format: LP,CD

 Fridge ‎– Eph Having ploughed the returns from their first two proper album releases into a full studio set-up, Fridge have been playing with the new toys to some good effect it seems. While there is much indeed to be said in favour of the recording of albums at home on four-track machines within tight time-constraints, previous releases have always seemed like not-quite complete sketches. Eph is allowed time to sprawl relaxedly, with the opening “Ark” taking off on a a heads-down riff through instrumental bliss-out territory, setting the pace (if not the style) for the next forty-odd minutes, concluded by the swarming mellow brassiness and strings of “Aphelion”.

Still, it’s not all grinding guiter and drums noise; there are quite delicate interludes of hesitant interlooping ambient sounds, not quite getting into the jazz-space electronica favoured by band member Kieran Hebden‘s alter-ego Four Tet, but slipping off into some involved combinations of keyboard meanders, environmental sounds and a washed-out feeling of something approaching drifting ennui. Not to say that the playing is lazy or dull, rather understated and unfussy in the most part, with the group contnet to take things around the houses and back up the road for a bit of a burn-out on the high street when the moment warrants it.

With each track flowing into the next, the blurring of time-frame and song-context on Eph is really rather pleasant, so when a single cut like “Of” emerges, it does so out of the mix – these guys have been taking the DJing to heart too it seems. There’s also some crossing into the hard-disc manipulations and bass vibrations favoured by touring partners such as To Rococo Rot apparent on this album, though sounding somehow less electronic, which is entirely welcome and not particularly derivative either. In fact, it’s fair to say that Fridge are bringing themselves thoroughly into the spacious world of semi-unclassifiable groups who may once have been post-Rock but who are now so busy making fun and involving music, that they’ve entirely forgotten how to be pigeonholed.

-Antron S. Meister-

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