Hylozoists La Nouvelle Gauche

From their secret lab in Seabright, NS, (shared with Hopeful Monster and Brendan Maguire), the Hylozoists emerge with a sumptuous slice of lush, cinematic, post-chamber pop. That this much brilliance can come from one studio (Nervous System Sound Recording) has conspiracy theorists buzzing about alien/human gene splicing, musician cloning, secret societies and ties to an ancient sect of pre-Socratic Greek philosophers. The Hylozoists' mastermind and orchestrator Paul Aucoin (Hopeful Monster, Bodaga and the Heavy Blinkers) has arranged an equally cerebral and catchy collection of instrumental gems utilising a small orchestra that includes, among other instruments, a string trio, wood winds, banjo, mandolin, theremin, pedal steel, vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel and antique keyboards. Musically adept, Aucoin is, as a graduate of both composition (from Dalhousie) and studio engineering, capable of overseeing an entire project from inception to mixing. Together with what might also be called "the Seabright Philharmonic Ensemble," he's bridged the already blurry divides between post-rock, minimalist composition, orchestral pop and ambient pop. He's our Maritime answer to contemporaries like Tim Gane (Stereolab), John McEntire (Tortoise) or Sean O'Hagan (Stereolab, the High Llamas). And his influences aren't always that carefully buried - the analog synth-propelled mythical soundtrack of "Permeability" draws obvious comparisons to Air, while the staccato synth and repetitively hypnotic patterns of their eponymous track affectionately nods to Stereolab. Compositions like the polyrhythmic "Lejazzlibre," and "Thepeopleisnevercorrupt" display more cleverly phased cadences that allude to the influence of minimalist Steve Reich, via Tortoise. The Hylozoists are certainly not guilty of blindly aping their heroes (like say, O'Hagan does), but their orbits are close enough that any fan of the above bands are guaranteed to love La Nouvelle Gauche. (Brobdingnagian)