David Byrne recently compiled an album called The Only Blip Hop Record You Will Ever Need, which catalogues the vanguard of this new genre: bands that set percussive, PC-generated pings and drones against skeletal acoustic instrumentation. Denver's George and Caplin, who appear at the Hipster Youth Halfway House (27th and Walnut streets) with the Denver Gentlemen, A Dog, Paloma, Auxiliary and Birdman 3 on Saturday, November 9, would have felt right at home. Employing everything from trumpets to rewired Speak & Spells, G&C members Jason Iselin and Jeffrey Stevens craft a synthesis of Mum's cybernetic melancholy, Mouse on Mars's frisky pointillism and Thievery Corporation's down-tempo lounge. The group's debut full-length, The Nature of Leaving, is steeped in this brackish mix of mechanics and biology. Guitars flutter under swathes of spectral texture like butterflies caught in nets; the vocals, when bothered with at all, are fey, Brit-pop-accented melodies drenched in ether. Underpinning it all is a litany of looped bleeps that prick at the senses like sonic acupuncture. The effect is chilling and catchy, with a subliminal songcraft that hints at the abstraction of Radiohead's Kid A or even OMD's avant-pop opus Dazzle Ships. Although it's mostly instrumental, even ambient at times, don't be fooled into thinking George and Caplin's music is strictly for the background. The duo's songs are intricate, hook-loaded contraptions that take gentle hold of both ears and don't let go.
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