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The Young Gods - Second Nature (Intoxygene)

Switzerland's finest return with a blistering seventh album that prove it is possible to sound fresh and original in the alternative electronic genre. Not that this band has anything to prove, their career to date has been hugely influential, always unpredictable, never derivative and always interesting.

"Second Nature" repeats the musical format of it predecessors - live vocals and drums, with all other sounds created by layer upon layer of samples. Pieces of guitars alongside sci-fi sound effects and distorted sound clips. This follows the path laid out by '95's "Only Heaven". There are even more techno elements at play here, with a psychedelic trance feel coming more to the fore. That's not to say they've lost the ability to rock, though, the opening powerhouse, 'Lucidogen' is as hard and fast as anything on "TV Sky", but tracks like 'Laisser Couler (le son)' show an increased confidence in using to techno techniques to produce techno music.

As a result, this album is probably their most cohesive, while, at the same time, being very eclectic. It is the very nature of the constant changes in feel and texture of the music, as well as the language in which Franz sings that allows it all to sit together so well. A welcome, and successful, return.

Donnacha DeLong

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