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Album Review: Inc. – No World

It feels strange to be saying this in November (and to have been saying it for months): but I promise that No World is one of the best albums of 2013. On No World, the brothers Aged (Andrew and Daniel) who constitute inc. make good the promise shown by early album cut ‘The Place’ and deliver a sensual, angelic yet creepy, album of exalted after-hours RnB.

Inc. received much praise for last year’s brilliant debut EP for 4AD,3, but that only hinted at the accomplishment here. If the tracks on 3 were pock-marked funk with the brothers in conflict, here is the most beautiful kind of resolution. Suddenly, everything is creepily in sync, Daniel and Andrew becoming singing Siamese sexbots, strumming yearning love songs with a metallic sheen.

There’s much to love here. The songwriting is stunning, with Andrew’s pleading vocals on tracks like standout ‘Angel’ leading you gently to bliss; and beautiful, expressive rhythmic low-ends provided by Daniel’s bass and production. Andrew’s guitar playing acts as a wonderful adornment throughout, always subtle, often spectral – a memory of that instrument’s bolder, brasher place in the soul music they so obviously adore and which lends humanity to their alien perfection.

No World is a masterpiece of atmosphere: a sexual shadow theatre – misted-over windows just barely offering a sense of the glorious, dirty acts amongst beautiful people; entry denied to the hottest party in town, sounds filtering out; autumn leaf-strewn pavements; something heavenly, unknowable but perceived; failing romance.

These are some of the things you can feel when you submit to the record; there are infinite others. It’s in the great tradition of the accomplished mood album; like Chromatics earlier this year, there’s a story in these soundscapes to be interpreted as you wish. You can imagine what you want taking place in these songs; but you can guarantee you’ll find a record to love.

-Michael C Lewin

Taken from Notion Magazine Issue 61.

 



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