The calming voice of Dani Siciliano
's Around the House
and Bodily Functions
, slithering and wrapping around and floating on top of her husband's mutant lounge grooves. It also does similar things throughout Brooks
' You, Me and Us
, a horrifically underheard slab of mutant house from 2002. A full album of that voice turns out to be as wonderful as one might have expected -- even more wonderful in a few instances. On Likes...
's the one in control, with Herbert
on board in a more supportive role. The set-up isn't much different from anything Siciliano
fans are familiar with, though the album is less glitch and
dance-oriented than anything they've been associated with in the past. "Same" sets the muted tone from the beginning; over the course of nine minutes, an understated momentum slowly builds, with a human bassline eventually swallowed up by a machine pulse during the latter third. Just when it verges on the brink of string-arrangement bombast, it peels back and ends abruptly. A reinterpretation of Nirvana
's "Come as You Are" that's neither silly nor ironic in sentiment follows and is another highlight. Barely recognizable, the tension between the stand-up bass and the flurry of percussive effects -- along with splashes of somber French horn -- prevent it from being some kind of tongue-in-cheek send-up. As a lyricist -- a role she takes on for the remainder of the songs -- Siciliano
isn't particularly compelling. This isn't much of a sticking point; her voice falls into the dreamy productions as an instrument that adds another shade. The words suit the sound
, if not necessarily the song, and it's not as if they're poor by anyone's standards. The album makes an excellent companion piece to Bodily Functions
. At points, it comes very close to being its equal. Why can't we get more records like this, when so many hand-me-down trip-hop acts continue to hatch, Tribble-like, from the bargain bins?