Montreal-based downtempo duo Flowers & Sea Creatures are an odd but inviting proposition. Fusing the Thom Yorke-ish vocals of singer/songwriter Graham Baxter with the subtle alt-electronica explorations of producer Kosta Megalos, they have a sound that rarely neatly fits into one pigeonhole. This debut album features a mix of traditional semi-acoustic fare, bubbling techno-influenced songscapes and slo-mo deep house (including productions by The Revenge and Ewan Pearson). That it hangs together impressively is testament to the duo's skill. Comparisons with Radiohead are a little off the mark but certainly relevant; if Thom Yorke and co were inspired by European deep house rather than crunchy British electronica, they may sound a little like this.
Innervisions' Secret Weapons series is always worth a look, if only for the opportunity it gives to delve into Dixon's CD wallet and see what he's been hammering over the last six months. As usual, there's plenty of Grade A material to enjoy, from the undulating rhythms and drifting chords of Hunter Game's "Ice", to the forceful electronics, woozy pads and dreamy vocal snatches of Flowers & Sea Creatures' picturesque "Overworld". Elsewhere, Nu Tone delivers some intense afterparty fare in the shape of "Rumble", while Ripperton reaches for the lasers on the shuffling deep house gem "Unfold". Arguably best of all, though, is Aera's "Freak Wave", a midtempo shuffler that boasts a wonderfully warm, organic feel, with rich percussion and fuzzy analogue synth-work.