Pram The Moving Frontier

It could refer to mapmaking or the expansion of deserts, or the shrinking of great lakes. It might refer to the past’s way of slipping by us into the future. Pram’s Moving Frontier is a musical line that links imaginary places the band uncover, pushing their elegant torch songs into the digital darkness. After 16 years and eight albums, their rhythms have grown less motorik but the sextet’s compositions are no less taut. On "Salva,” Rosie Cuckston’s haunted vocals are wrapped in warm layers of French horn, Mellotron and vibraphone that protect against a wilderness of electronic cicadas and swirling, watery samples. The lyrics here and elsewhere declare solitary resolve against an encroaching, impersonal future. The last third of the album is given over to instrumentals that take the journey into a slightly more recognizable exoticism of Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern pastiches. Pram remain more hermetic and progressive than contemporaries like Stereolab or Broadcast. The Moving Frontier might also describe the difficulty critics will have drawing any definite border around them. (Domino)