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S.O.L.O.



S.O.L.O. is Michael Wells, and this is a departure from his other projects. It is unlike the techno dance bleep music of Tricky Disco, the experimental hardcore of Technohead, or the nonstop sampling of Greater Than One/G.T.O. It's a mature, refined, elaborate mixture of downtempo beats, found sounds, and old-time samples.

"Angel of Love" opens with a squeezebox playing through record album hiss, giving way to organic synthesizer syncopation and melody. Lest all this get too warm and fuzzy, Wells interrupts this familiar-yet-alien dance tune with a loud burst of electronics. It's like intercepting a transmission from a spaceship filled with sound engineers who have been creating aural landscapes with the electromagnetic detritus left behind after a century of earthly broadcasts. The album is laced with jazzy rhythms, funky bass, sultry multilingual vocals, smooth electronics, and, hey, are those Gregorian chants? It's possible...

Wells's unsettling use of found sound samples recalls label owner and occasional collaborator Robin Rimbaud's releases as Scanner. Rather than using phone conversations, shortwave radio broadcasts, and police dispatches, these sound fragments sound like reinterpreted radio stations from around the world and across the century.

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