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Heterotic – 'Weird Drift' review

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Heterotic are husband-and-wife electronic tinkerers Mike Paradinas and Lara Rix-Martin, the former of whom ploughs a better-known furrow as electronic tinkerer μ-Ziq. Accordingly, Weird Drift is defined mainly by electronic tinkering, most of which veers towards the neon-lit Bladerunner/drama-of-foreboding analogue synths path, with occasional diversions into gauzy chillwave and breathy vocals. Uniting these two ends is a general hypnagogic fug that lies over the whole album, adding cohesion but also distraction with its forced sense of faux-nostalgia: ‘Rain’, for example, is a perfectly amiable pop ballad, but hearing it through a mock-Balearic haze does it no favours.

Occasionally, as on ‘Liverpool’, the atmosphere lifts to reveal a rather charming, breezy take on instrumental electronica, and ‘Empires’, all endlessly delayed grand pianos and rousing thud, makes for a satisfying finale. Unfortunately, though, these peaks don’t offer quite enough heft to overcome the wispiness elsewhere, leaving the impression of a record just a little too caught up in its own distinct but not particularly inviting little world.