Walls – Coracle Walls – Coracle

Walls - Coracle

Coracle, Walls’ second album proper, sees London-based duo Alessio Natalizia (Banjo Or Freakout) and Sam Willis (Allez Allez) flesh out the sounds that they began to craft on last year’s eponymous debut. Whilst that record touched on electronic beats with krautrock influences, Coracle sees the pair expand these ideas into a longer and more cohesive album, and as a result it’s one of the more rewarding electronic records of this year.

Wall’s approach for much of the album revolves around a pulsating bass hook- with the pair then adding layers of non-lyrical vocals, brief guitar snippets and hazy electronics. This might lead to the assumption that Coracle is a dense or demanding listen; in reality, it’s easy to lose yourself in this record. In much the same way that Kompakt label boss Axel Willner (The Field) was able to on his debut album, Walls’ philosophy of repetition and gradually building up tracks is designed as such so that it pulls you in as a listener, and with the songs as complex and as pretty as they are, it’s hard not to get sucked in. Album centrepiece ‘Sunporch’ is perhaps the best illustration of this, a track which chugs along in the same sort of vein as Fuck Buttons or Battles. The Balearic opener of ‘Into Our Midst’ showcases the duos’ knack for keeping the song writing focused and relatively tight- an impressive feat for a track that clocks in at just over seven minutes.

Coracle is generally an album that hints at positive emotion, rather than weaving abrasive or sinister soundscapes. Whilst the beats are repetitive they are never overbearing, (even on the robotic ‘Il Tedesco’) and the guys keep it light thanks to a breeziness and an atmosphere that they are able to inject almost at will. If ‘Into Our Midst’ is an impressive opener, then ‘Drunken Galleon’ is a perfect closer- a wonderfully simple piece of electronic beauty that tugs on the heartstrings without even saying a word. It sums up an album that throughout is dreamy, quirky, and often brilliant.

1. Into Our Midst
2. Raw Umber/Twilight
3. Sunporch
4. Il Tedesco
5. Vacant
6. Ecstatic Truth
7. Heat Haze
8. Drunken Galleon

Walls - Coracle, reviewed by Lemon on 2011-10-19T10:04:11-07:00 rating 3.8 out of 5

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