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Walls brings Sam Willis (of Allez-Allez) and Alessio Natalizia (or Banjo or Freakout) together on a German electronica label. From my perspective, that makes this a fusion of German, English, French, Italian, and Appalachian sounds. (Well, the Appalacahianness is just in the word "banjo", but it is there nonetheless.) That makes Walls a sort of international supergroup.

Not that this is particularly international sounding music. This is a not a world beat album. There are no samples of Andean pipes or African drumming. Instead, this is a pleasant ambient electronica record. It does not break a lot of new ground, but is still rather enjoyable.

The record starts off with Burnt Sienna, in which a synth line burbles and an effected guitar drones under a catchy beat. Hang Four is next, and it does the same general thing, but better, as Walls add a repeated bass riff with samples cascading over top to the general burble and deep beats. Very nice.

An interlude comes next. A Virus Waits! is just under three minutes of a wavering bass tones and some sort of "wet" sounding sample. It fades into Cylopean Remains, where a similar deep bass drone is paired with some soaring synths, tinkling percussion, and some wordless singing.

Soft Cover People takes the sound in a slightly different direction. Building on the vocals from Cylopean Remains and the effected guitar from Burnt Sienna, this is a slowly growing song that reminds me almost of Epic45, or Portal. Nicely done.

Strawberry Sect is another interlude, here of echoed guitar lines that have been cut and mangled (again, a very Epic45 or Hood type of thing). This interlude leads us into dance territory, almost. Gaberdine starts off with a happy abbreviated drum hit, a meandering bass riff, and a toe-tapping keyboard melody. Eventually a clipped vocal bit comes in and the song loops around for a while with vocals that are amorphous, so that you hear what you want to hear (or what your subconscious wants you to hear -- how very Jungian). Overall this is a fun tune.

And finally Walls wrap it up with Austerlitz Wide Open, three minutes of chugging ambiance with a high-pitched vocal loop. This reminds me of the last Hammock record, or of the Jonsi and Alex CD, but maybe a little more electro feeling (especially the throbbing bass line) than either of those acts.

Good stuff all around. This is a good record to listen to when you are stuck at the office trying to link SharePoint with old Access databases... It is pleasant music that is nice to focus on when you can, but that also forms a nice fog in the background when you are otherwise pre-occupied. And that, after all, is the point of ambient music.

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