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(Fidgital; US: Unavailable; UK: Unavailable; Canada release date: Jan 2008)

Canada may not have a very prolific downtempo scene, but as the work of Delerium attests, the odd gem rises out of the Northern country’s swarms of smarmy indie bands. The fourth studio album from Vancouver’s Fidgital is such a prize. Centering on the duo of former Front And Center vocalist Ryan Slemko and producer Keith Gillard, their latest full-length tones down the sickly sweet live nu-jazz of their early career for a slow dive into meditative, ambient, organic electronica, like a Canuck update of Enigma. “We Lost The Signal” takes a page out of the Massive Attack dub playbook, with a Toshinori Kondo style trumpet, cascading Native Instruments presents, and their standard of live drumming, which pushes the bulk of the album to the next level. A couple songs seem to rely on a sound or two a little too much, but the record flows so beautifully as a whole (especially in headphones) that the majority of such foibles and minor undoings melt away. Departure is the reassuring presence of a higher power condensed to CD form. Feel it.


Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.

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