Head here to submit your own review of this album.

I remember reading an article on the stroboscopic Dream Machine, in which a member of the Soft Machine described a waking dream he had experienced while under the influence of the device. He explained how, after a few minutes of staring into the spinning cylinder, he suddenly became aware that he was staring at a map, lit from beneath, on which he could read tiny details of an imaginary landscape. The individual described the experience as a kind of living, topographical vision.

If Boozoo Bajou had a waking dream, it would feel something like that. Their latest collection 4 references the giants of ambient composition, settling comfortably into a relaxed foetal quiescence from the off. Their trademark rattling-change percussion acts as a gentle watermark, harking back to their 2001 debut Sitta. At first glance, their tones, outlook and attitude doesn't seem to have changed greatly, other than to refocus their efforts on more amorphous, broad brush fare. The interesting parts come in spotting where the breaks have consciously been made with earlier structures, and how the development of dance and electronica in that time has forced them into shifts in focus. Go a little deeper, and the change is more overt.

So 'Phonetrik' chooses not to burst into rasping snare and a standard, high resolution drum loop as their earlier work might have, instead relying on a match-flare kit assemblage that only barely delineates between kick, snare and toms, with gloomy, patchy plug in bass line noodling about it. Our attention is drawn instead to the high frequency flourishes and the foregrounded guitar flourishes a la LTJ Bukem. Not many tracks have what you might call a recognisable 'kick in'. 'Utsira' begins, predictably, with their rattling-change motif, before slowly opening out into an elliptical, mock tribal elegy. Steel and electrical textures mesh with bomb shelter groans and lovingly composed harps to create an effect that is at once unnerving, warm and ambiguously homely. It's like all your kitchen appliances, suddenly self-aware, learned how to write music and prepared a piece to tell you how much they loved you when you got home from work.

The production is concerted and grounded in a way the duo's work always is. There is a pleasing mix of the digital and acoustic achieved on tracks like '4', with lots of synthesized room reverb and delay that engineers a recognisably real space: always a tricky balance to maintain when you want each instrument to live in its own context. In the press blurb, the pair talk about the problems of circumventing the 'lift music' aspect of the genre they developed within. On '4' they are mostly successful.

In fact, as you reach 'Der Kran' and the album enters its second phase, you realise that Boozoo Bajou have taken a quantum leap from the philosophy of their earlier work. Where previously they fitted reassuringly into a world/soul genre that was all pervading at the turn of the century, their new record is unrecognisably abstract. Perhaps that is the meaning of the constant use of the rattling-change effect - it's a kind of reverse Aleph, an object they obsessively include to save from losing themselves in something unrecognisable - a signature to remind them of a previous life.

This is the place you'll find reviews from 405 Readers. To join in, head here.