Madrid Warm Waters Review

BBC Review

Debut album from Canadian duo tapping into the blurry divider between rock and...

Olli Siebelt 2004

Although we've been telling you about Canada's fantastic new music scene for some time now, the past year has seen an absolute explosion of new talent ready to put America's neighbour to the north firmly on the new musical map once and for all.

One of the most promising bands we've heard recently come to us in the form of Toronto's Madrid, a band whose debut CD was only released at the end of 2003. However, after a few listens, it's become obvious that Warm Waters' unique collection of electronic influenced songwriting promises to make the band a major force to be reckoned with in 2004.

The duo of Duncan Christie and Adam Perry have come up with a truly unique collection of tracks that bring to mind everything from Brian Eno's "Deep Blue Day" to the early works of Orbital, all while retaining a linear song structure. Warm Waters breathes and sighs with a laid back warmth and demeanour all its own, often letting the individual decays and resonances of each layer carry the song forward.

From the single "Stereostar" to the final track "June Park", the listener is surrounded with gorgeous layers of Moogs, ARPs and country & western guitars that echo with multiple layers of synths and delay effects, creating a fantastic tapestry of sound that goes far beyond the usual shoegazer or ambient cliché. The band have somehow tapped into that blurry divider between rock and electronic music, and effortlessly travel back and forth without going too far in one direction.

Yet, for all its technology, the songs never spin out into the netherworld, nor are they slaves to a strictly quantized sequencer. The band's rock influences tie the backing layers together nicely without being too overbearing or obvious.

Did we mention that fans of analogue synths will also be impressed? For any devotee of The Big Chill or fans of multi-layered electronic music, we can't recommend this release highly enough. You could almost say that this is the indie record that Boards Of Canada never made. It's that good. Don't miss it.

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