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from kraftwerk to leonard cohen, the smiths to suicide, and pet shop boys to smog, oakland california's one-man musical army owen ashworth - aka casiotone for the painfully alone - has been bracketed with all manner of illustrious names in the course of his eleven year career.
but in collecting the 7-inch split-singles and compilation tracks he released from 2004-7 (all but two of them on cd for the first time), 'advance base battery life' provides compelling evidence of the singular nature of this industrious film-school dropout's talent. if 2006's sumptuously accomplished 'etiquette' was casiotone for the painfully alone's 'the queen is dead', this is his 'hatful of hollow' - a selection of formative fragments which add up to an utterly satisfying whole. in expanding his musical palette from minimal battery-powered electronics to include strings, flutes, tabla and pedal-steel, ashworth has lost none of his miniaturist's eye for detail. includes covers of paul simon's 'graceland', missy elliott's 'hot boyz', and not one but two bruce springsteen tunes (each with the power to pluck at the heart-strings of even the most hardened boss-sceptic) - soon reveal a beguiling
internal logic. on tomlab.....release date: 09/03/2009
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