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Pumps
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  • Recording information: O'Cropolis, Brooklyn (2009).
  • Full of subsonic bass rumble and glitchy polyrhythms, Growing's debut for Vice finds the group fully transformed from their modest beginnings as a band using guitar crunch to make ambient soundscapes into a fully focused (and completely trippy) electronic force. Pumps! picks up where 2008's All the Way left off in a wash of a drone and noise, and adds forceful beats throughout. Driven by a pulsing kick, Growing's palette of fuzz shards, goopy gurgles, and vacuum suction is transformed from whispers in the ether to block-rocking beats from a Martian club. As well as becoming more danceable (in a freaky, frenetic way), the band incorporates a vocalist, Sadie Laska, who delivers spoken echoes in the styling of Miss Kittin over "Camera 84"'s techno pacing. It's not as if the duo has gone all FM radio, though. Everything is twisted and blurred to the point that only the patient and experimental-minded will sift through the murk to find the hidden grooves. Closer "Mind Eraser" manipulates the phrase "I love drugs" in and out of a clubby dub-skitter, along with what might be German elves yelling in an echo chamber. Yeah, it's that stoney and weird, but it's also really, really good. Potentially their most accomplished work. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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