Barcelona-based duo Paul Roux and Jeremy Pinchasi first introduced their Memorial Home partnership last year with a couple of 12” EP releases on their own Rapid Eye Movement label, and now ‘World’ introduces their debut album. Running in at 20 tracks over an expansive running time of just over 80 minutes, it’s certainly an ambitious affair that takes in the full breadth of the duo’s influences, ranging from introspective techno through more downbeat, ambient and guitar-inflected tracks.
There are certainly close comparisons here with the likes of Trentemoller’s later albums in that there’s a consistently widescreen cinematic feel to this album as well as distinct narrative arc to the way that these tracks are sequenced.
Opening title track ‘World’ emerges from a swirl of pulsing bass tones and plucked acoustic guitar strokes, the sense of foreboding atmosphere that’s generated as hiphop beats rise up out of the woodwork suggesting the likes of UNKLE or Massive Attack, before ‘Pressure’ sends shuffling minimal techno rhythms gliding against buzzing bass swells and phased synths while delicate blues-inflected guitar tones bleed into the forefront.
In contrast, ‘Does It Matter’ offers a side-step towards downbeat electronic pop as skittering breakbeats and warm organ tones trace a path beneath Tika Balanchine’s noir-soul tinged vocals, while ‘Pop Fink’ leans towards motorik-fuelled indie rock as a 4/4 kickdrum pounds away beneath jangly layered guitar riffs that sit somewhere between Ry Cooder and Neu!.
Elsewhere, ‘Train’ unleashes one of this album’s deepest and most filmic wanders as dark bass tones trace a path against snapping industrial rhythms, the icy synths that drone in the background swirling out through layers of reverb, before ‘Motor’ sees elegantly melancholic analogue synth arrangements and minimalist clicking rhythms suggesting the arena-sized electronics of latter day Depeche Mode. As debut albums go, ‘World’ is pretty damn impressive.