Richard Barbieri Stranger Inside

New from Porcupine Tree’s keyboard master, Stranger Inside is one of the most hypnotic, engaging, and thoroughly unmechanical electronica albums we’ve heard in years. The disc begins with the propulsive, jungle-ish “Cave,” which feels partway between Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like a Hole” and retro Depeche Mode; more mellow tracks like “All Fall Down” build on ethereal acoustic piano and evolve organically, thanks to a patient compositional arc, well-placed samples of children singing, and exceptional bass playing by Danny Thompson. While many producers stuff their rhythm grids to the bursting point, every blip and ping Richard uses has a purpose. For an electronic album with a soul, look no further.
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New from Porcupine Tree’s keyboard master, Stranger Inside is one of the most hypnotic, engaging, and thoroughly unmechanical electronica albums we’ve heard in years. The disc begins with the propulsive, jungle-ish “Cave,” which feels partway between Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like a Hole” and retro Depeche Mode; more mellow tracks like “All Fall Down” build on ethereal acoustic piano and evolve organically, thanks to a patient compositional arc, well-placed samples of children singing, and exceptional bass playing by Danny Thompson. While many producers stuff their rhythm grids to the bursting point, every blip and ping Richard uses has a purpose. For an electronic album with a soul, look no further.

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