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Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Brett Spaceman  

Hologram have a song called Union, and it is unbelievable. Do you understand what I mean when I say the track alone justifies purchase of the entire album? Actually, it isn't even the track per se, but rather a moment within the track. The pivotal, pay-off moment ah, just thinking about it now is making my blood turn to ice. I shall have to play it again in a moment. It'll be about the tenth time today.

I've had the record months.

Sorry if I sound obsessive here. Normal service is about to be resumed. Okay so Hologram are a jobbing Japanese pedal FX band that fall somewhere between Lush/Asobi Seksu dreampop and Labradford-style, rhythmic experimentation.

If the ultimate ambition of most shoegaze acts is to reach and match the dizzy heights of Cocteau Twins, Hologram score a perfect goal 2 minutes and 02 seconds into Union when everything slides satisfyingly twangy and blurry. Heavily effected guitars hold down a nursery rhyme riff whilst a perfect bassline purrs through your heart. And then there's THAT slide. Oh boy it does it for me. I could drink this.

The rest of the album is somewhat hit and miss. Hologram seem caught in two minds whether to hone their effect driven pop (e.g. HARU) or push the experimental envelope. On the wordless UANO-SORA, you get a clear impression of how interesting Tortoise might have been with prettier guitars. FUJU and Moon sound like the band spent a lot of time listening to yellow6 and Bark Psychosis. Who wouldn't? Yet Hologram probably work best with vocals. Saori Yokoyama throws a passable imitation of Julie Cruise on XX. Overall the effect is more Violet Indiana than Cocteau Twins. Whilst the guitars hold valid Guthrie aspirations, no voice could ever match up to Fraser.

And so we're back to Union and at times like this you forget ridiculous notions such as "albums" and "masterpieces". "Careers" and "comparisons". All these things fade into insignificance against a moment so intense and vital as this. One minute of pure bliss. Listen on a decent system. Hologram+ is occasionally very lovely indeed.

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