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Lemon Jelly

Lemon Jelly falls somewhere between the light, obliquely ironic Lithium disco of Air and gentle, loving mockery of the musical pretensions of that genre. The English duo of Nick Franglen and Fred Deakin charts cool, ethereal courses through the little fluffy clouds, wandering off occasionally into candy-colored La La Land, while superimposing occasional samples of sleepy Discovery Channel/Mr. Rogers voices offering surreal, seemingly educationally derived narration. The grooves are rich and powerfully relaxed, the beats deep and hypnotic. This is way-downtempo dance music that makes you feel like someone's slipped a Valium into your champagne flute.

The road to Lemon Jelly's fey, spacey, musical fantasia contained, not surprisingly, a few twists along the way. Franglen began as a gardener to the stars, a career which took a calamitous turn when a bridge he'd constructed collapsed -- with Freddie Mercury standing on it. From there, he moved on to writing music for Sega, Sony, TV, and film, and later, began programming keyboards and drums for hotshots like Pulp, Primal Scream, Bjork, and Blur. Deakin, meanwhile, spent a decade or so DJing throughout the U.K. while plying his hand as a graphic designer.

Lemon Jelly came into existence in the late '90s and released a series of enjoyably light EPs that toyed cleverly with the conventions of club music. These releases -- The Bath EP, The Yellow EP, and The Midnight EP -- have been collected in a single, gorgeously packaged CD, entitled (also, coincidentally, their website URL). The cute, unbelievably catchy "The Staunton Lick" originally appeared on The Yellow EP.