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Music Review: Guitaro – JJ’s Crystal Palace

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It’s synth shoegaze. It’s electronic music for people who like the shape a guitar can bring to song. Guitaro’s JJ’s Crystal Palace comes from a space in between dreams and dance floors. It’s music for gazing at your shoes, even as you start to see them tapping, moving, and dancing to the beats.

“Hill Mountain” opens things up with a foreboding guitar line over drum machine where chiming keys enter to flash the lights of the club. The keys on “Chateau 100” bounce and pop a bit like Men Without Hats, but the vocal is all dream sequence. “Blastok” is blissed out, made for staring at the ceiling when you’re overwhelmed by music, life, or sleep. Acoustic guitar strums in under the electronic piano on “2085,” a combination of The Church and Royksopp.

Brooding vocals on tracks like “Come Get Sums” recall Wire’s way of going introspective even over propulsive beats. There’s a beautiful acoustic guitar line on “Make You,” which chimes in like a subdued Turin Brakes song.

Then on “Modulo,” we’re back to the dance floor, an incessant keyboard line ripe for spinning lights reaching into the dark corners. The album then closes with the Pink Floyd-like “Plastic Bags,” which floats around like a grocery bag until the wind picks up.

For more info, check out the official Guitaro website.

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  • Rob Greco

    Could it be that synth and guitar are going to merge yet again? Big hair, disco balls and pumping bass lines?
    I hope so!
    Rob Greco