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RESEARCH (Buy CDs by this artist)
The Post-Modern Always Rings Twice (unreleased) 1996
(Almost) Nothing Yet EP (Stickshift) 1998

One of the better answers to the perceived emptiness left by the ongoing next-My-Bloody-Valentine-album debacle, Research's music sounds like the result of years spent recording things into a computer terminal without any of the flashiness or self-aggrandizement that has become the norm for such practitioners. Mainly the work of Kenn Richards, who handles the keyboard programming, The Post-Modern Always Rings Twice is a stunning mix of shoegazer sound panoramas and trip-hop dance beats. "Nothing Yet" and "Hemispheres" feature the singing of Rebecca Chamberlain doing her best breathy Bilinda Butcher (omniscient vocals present thanks to multiple tracks recorded) over looping swirls of nearly recognizable sounds and beats. Post-Modern was set to be released on Elektra but unceremoniously pulled from the release schedule, reportedly after higher-ups viewed one of Research's rare performances. While it's easy to consider such corporate malice and proclaim Post-Modern one of the great unheard records of genius, a Smile for the '90s, let's just say the album deftly fulfills its objectives and would have pleased those whose audience it sought. (Almost) Nothing Yet returns group from obscurity, with a mix of redone Post-Modern tracks and new songs.

[Ben Goldberg]
   
This piece was first published in Badaboom Gramophone #3 and appears here with permission.