Life after D’n’B

The new album, Treader (Thirsty Ear), by the British duo of John Coxon and Ashley Wales (aka Spring Heel Jack) is more wide-ranging, more explicitly fractured, than their previous work. Earlier Spring Heel Jack music, especially the highly recommended album 68 Million Shades, found an express complexity in the sort of club- (or lounge-) oriented music that comprises much of electronica. That uniquely noirish flavor — jazz-tinged, but not in the least bit “acid jazz” — persists on Treader, but it shares space with pneumatic techno (“Blackwater”) as well as with some cover versions from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music (“Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and John Coltrane’s favorite, “My Favorite “Things”), both of which originally appeared on a separate EP.

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