The Ones That Got Away

Mom hail from Iceland, where they now join the likes of Bjsrk and Sigur R--s in a music scene in which the only identifying characteristic seems to be genius. What the hell do they put in the water over there? Seriously, the foursome--who were all in their teens when Yesterday Was Dramatic--Today Is OK was produced--show a musical prowess that is outright unnerving. Say heaven is a Nintendo game--it would maybe sound like this. Mom exorcise the haunting Aphex Twin, channeling his demons into soundscapes that invite rather than alienate, warm instead of chill. Church bells ring out over complex drillbeats on "Smell Memory," while the ice that freezes out true emotion from electronic music melts away when the wistful chimes of "There Is A Number of Small Things" fade slowly into an angelic, childlike choir. The amorphous mix of live and electronic instrumentation envelops simple melodies within deceptively complex beats. No, you can't always dance to it, but who wants to shake booty when there's all the beauty of the universe to contemplate? At the top of a great year for electronica, Mom have given the rarest of such albums: modern, timeless and joyfully accessible. --Greg Bloom


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