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AGF/Delay - Symptoms

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 24 / 9 / 2009

AGF/Delay - Symptoms
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Maarten Schiethart looks at Berlin-based electro lounge pop act AGF/Delay's second album, 'Symptoms', which was released at the beginning of this year

The duo's second album functions as a probe for Vladislav Delay to once again test his productions skills on his partner's vocals. AGF are the initials of his girlfriend, Antye Greie-Fuchs, whom he met after his move from his native Finland to Berlin. Their debut was self-released and hardly heard. This smooth second album of electro lounge pop now comes from the reputed BPitch Control label, which is run by John Peel's darling Ellen Allien, and home to Moderat, Paul Kalkbrenner, Sacha Funke and Telefon Tel-Aviv. AGF sings in that whispering way, popularized by Bjørk, that remind me of young girls who tell you fairy tales or unlikely stories. That style works best in contrast with a beefy arrangement such as for 'Downtown Snow' which builds on Berlin's great tradition of the Basic Channel sound. Solid beats roll like an underground train. 'Outbreak' follows next with great agility and sniffs at dubstep. Too skinny and fragile to count as 'wonk' (wobbly funk), it is genius. The tracks that come next portray a slick refinement of this clicks 'n steps style. Delay's arrangement techniques have matured. His first recordings date back to the highlights of computer originated music on Max Ernst and Mille Plateaux over ten years ago when computers still had glitches in them. That disorientating 'glitch' (Clicks_+_Cuts) has now become a household style, used in advertising for example whenever the product must appear clever (as in smart), a word very popular in Germany these days oddly enough. A highpoint and a rocky ('Smoke On The Water' riff!) surprise is 'Smileaway'. Warlike keynotes set against the eerie electronic beats result in a fine track. The 'Symptoms' album then winds down with more mystery and a little bit more of Delay's characteristic of smoldering electro beats. The closing 'In Cycles' turns out to be one track where vocals and arrangements are fully in synchronisation.

Track Listing:-

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AGF/Delay - Symptoms

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