Caandides 20° 30' S, 29° 20' W

Caandides  20° 30' S, 29° 20' W
"Inspired by UFOs and wanderlust" is how one might potentially describe Caandides' latest release, 20° 30' S, 29° 20' W, whose title references the coordinates of a supposed sighting of a UFO off the coast of Trinidad in the late 1950s. The Parisian electro-pop-folk outfit set out to explore and produce a hybrid between organic and synthetic, marrying samples of their own work with manipulated instruments and vocals. The result sounds like the Avalanches and Air France joining forces, while Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes tampers with a voice modulator.
While that doesn't sound half bad in theory, in practice, 20° 30' S, 29° 20' W sounds gimmicky, a jumble of tweaked and twisted sounds muddled together to produce tracks with little differentiation between them. "Black Mass" is really the only track that pushes a bit further into musical exploration, eschewing the album's formulaic monotony in favour of substantial blasts of percussion that complement the simple but effective backing beat. A dizzying repetitive scale runs throughout, as do hazy vocals, both of which lend the track a distressing, haunting quality. It's a rare moment of urgency here, a surprising departure from the album's pop-fuelled meandering. (Cracki Records)