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three albums into their career, manchester's dutch uncles, a group who pitched their tents firmly in pop's leftfield with their eponymous first album before releasing memphis industries debut 'cadenza' in 2011, have made another huge step forward with their latest album 'out of touch in the wild'. there's been no great reinvention, just great progress: this is a refined version of dutch uncles doing what they do best: making labyrinthine pop of escher-like complexity and crystal clarity. unlike previous outings, 'out of touch in the wild' was written and conceived as a full 'studio' album, allowing for greater creative freedom, more sophisticated arrangements and a much larger sonic palette, seeing them utilise strings, piano, analogue synths and tuned percussion more so than guitars. the band's underlying influences remain but this time around see's kate bush, igor stravinsky, japan, prince and neu! all intriguingly thrown into the mix. lyrically the album is based loosely around themes of addiction and friendship. 'out of touch in the wild' is the sound of the dutch uncles hitting their stride confidently, striking out on their own in fascinating new directions and it lays down an early, compelling gauntlet for 2013.
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