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Avrocar are a strange little band. They are associated with the Make Mine Music collective, the output of which i tend to enjoy, and yet their releases are difficult to locate. I took the time to track down this EP on 12" vinyl from Germany, and, as is typical, i find this to be a high quality release.

Since it's a vinyl release, i have to rant about my pet peeve. No where on the record or the packaging does it list the speed at which to play this record. I guessed 33 RPM, and that turned out to be correct. Anyway, let's examine the six songs here.

Guidance starts out with Maiden 39, which is a fun electro pop tune built out of a chugging beat and hushed vocals. It flows into Illustrate a Way to Survive, which is a lovely ambient piece. Strange washes of synth sounds hover along with Gregorian chanting way in the background. It reminds me of AMP's Bliss Out album, and is a very nice ambient interlude. It fades out slowly into Iskenane, which begins with another low drone. Then, suddenly, there is clattering percussion moving along. Slowly, a really nice drum beat comes in and the song lopes along under the catchy beat, a happy keyboard drone, and some formless vocals. Very nice, and that beat is really head-boppingly catchy. The whole song builds nicely, then slowly fades out into a low keyboard coda. A damned fine tune to end out the first side of this release.

Flipping the record over, the B side starts with Vayleen. This song features quiet keyboards, a light strummed guitar, and a quiet echoed voice. It is reminiscent of July Skies, which is, not surprisingly, an Avrocar side project. It all makes sense. If you liked the vocal work on The English Cold, then you'll like this tune.

The next track on the B side is a brief (only a minute or so) keyboardy interlude a la Boards of Canada. It's called Our World Is Their Heaven and is nice enough. That tune fades into Larpeleon Truth. This song starts with a quaint sample, then gets droney and keyboard heavy, with a drum riff playing far in the background. This song kind of reminds me of the Orb back in their heydey, or that Dreams of Tall Buildings EP from 2003 that i reviewed recently. That is to say, this is very good post-modern British dub. The beat slowly grows, and eventually a wavering guitar part joins in. It's a nice epic tune that moves and changes.

Overall, this is a fine release. Avrocar apparently operate under the concept of "quality not quantity", and i wholeheartedly approve of this. It will be difficult to locate this 12", but if you are into mellow but beat heavy music, this is a great purchase.

Related Links:
  Avrocar were featured on Flow, a Make Mine Music Compilation.
Avrocar member Antony Harding also records as July Skies.

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