Reviewed by Luke McManus (Rte.ie)
'404 Not Found', the third album from Dublin duo Decal sees the elder statesmen of Irish electronica finally come of age and deliver on their considerable potential.
For a band with a long-held love of dissonance, '404 Not Found' is a surprisingly soothing listen. Opener 'Moylough' consists mostly of fractured piano arpeggios, not entirely dissimilar to the Aphex Twin's quieter moments. But if you are looking for easy listening then look elsewhere. Decal's angular approach to music is still intact.
'Somewhere Worth Living' begins with electronic bass and a beautiful low-key guitar line, but just as you are hooked into the track's somnolent atmosphere a distorted sub-bass roar jerks the song onto a different level.
The synth sustain on 'Waiting (All Along)' is quickly transformed by Alan Kelly's intense layered vocal, and 'Juggernaut' does exactly what it say on the tin, poignant melody lines constructed into a howling, thunderous epic that shudders along for almost ten minutes.
The closer, 'Star Of The Sea' tails off plaintively, and segues smoothly back into the opening track if you set your CD player to continuous, creating a perfect-formed loop, appropriately enough.
Irish electronic albums have been encouraging but patchy efforts, offering glimpses of the talent and creativity that abounds in the electronic music scene here. But '404 Not Found' is a huge step up, an album of such intelligence and beauty that it should be regarded as a classic of the genre by world standards. Ten years after the beginning of the journey, Decal have finally arrived.
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