The Host The Host

The HostThe Host
Mining neighbouring territory to Rustie's recent Glass Swords, this self-titled disc by the Host erupts similarly into cartoon rainbows made from Day-Glo synth swoops, thin drums and melted bass slaps. There's a bit more urgency, yet conversely, there's also a ripened dreaminess to the Host's work; his drum programming draws heavily on the neurotic syncopation of his Juke-deconstructionist label-mates on Planet-Mu. But the spastic stammer of quasi-808 drums cuts through a mysterious dubwise tapestry of various elements, instead of the bright, crystalline structures heard on the aforementioned Glass Swords. Sometimes it's bleary-eyed guitars and synths that could've been taken from some mid-'80s Quiet Storm demo, such as "Rainy Sequences/ Phosphene Patterns." Elsewhere, as with "Second Life," a beam of dubbed-out keyboards is draped with limp mono-synth noodles. At points, the beats are absent altogether, leaving a milky opalescent wash evoking various Kraut explorations, or some sort of early, never released new age tangent from Prince. This album strikes an intriguing, if slightly schizophrenic, balance between gently meandering almost-psychedelia and the restless rhythmic activity of recent dance styles. Recommended. (Planet Mu)