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Cepia

Atlantic Blood

(Sublight; US: 30 May 2006; UK: 16 May 2006)

To be fair, a remix disc isn’t perhaps the best introduction to an electronic musician’s work, as too often they serve to dilute an artist’s unique strengths among work by other people.  But with only one prior EP and assorted remix and compilation work, there’s not really much other Cepia to go on, besides these six proficient but unremarkable takes on an assortment of already somewhat bland IDM compatriots like Tim Koch and Mr. Projectile, bookended by three originals.  It’s in the originals that we search for a spark of originality by which to interpret the other tracks, but mostly to no avail:  they provide only bleary electronic warbles that rarely ease into melody or make a lasting impression.  Instead, the best bits seem to come from elsewhere, like the clanging bells of Anticon’s Dosh, or a mournful keys and vocals arrangement courtesy of Fog.  Perhaps a Cepia full-length will help to better display the Minnesotan’s strengths; until then we have only bored technical skill, yet lacking heart or resonance.

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