John Sims, Palomino (Sorted) CD/(Fortuna Pop) LP

It's finally here and split between two labels on the CD and LP for your audiophile pleasure. Across the ten tracks (9 original and one Silver Apples cover) the Sims M.O. is revealed as a drone core from which various instruments wrest themselves free just long enough to add psychedelic embellishments to the tune before being drawn back in. The first half---the brunette girl side---is quality hypnotic pop music, the kind that prompts the Stereolab comparisons the band are sick of and that serves as an appetiser for the second half---the blonde girl side. In its turn, this is also hypnotic pop music but of a much darker variety. The opener "Amory Blaine" is a superb slow-burn vocoder/electro experiment leading into "When I lived on page 56" which sounds like a runaway train careering down a mountainside with the band hanging out the windows and laughing as they crash along. "Spread the tikka" is an eerie, atmospheric way to unsettle friends without quite knowing why and "Elfmeter" is the meatiest thing on display, Julie's vocals battling for room in the sonic brew-up. To close, we have the sub-continental chanting from Close Encounters mixed with a hypnosis tape.

I've had a tape of the album for months and am still playing it. Which is about as high a recommendation as you get round these parts.

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