Published Jul 15, 2014Minimal electronic duo Xeno & Oaklander have crafted an exotic album inspired by their travels called Par Avion (French for "by plane"). The record is a unique blend that jumps from more ambient numbers to faster techno tracks, with both sides of the spectrum holding true to a trademark synth sound that hints at old school new wave influences and even a little dub. Xeno & Oaklander aren't modest or shy about their synth use; it's the main element in each of the nine tracks, slowed down and sped up to suit corresponding echoing vocals (both in English and French) balanced with distant, low-key drums.
Singer Liz Wendelbo's voice is haunting and enticing, while synth keyboardist Sean McBride's contribution in "Lastly" is reminiscent of Dave Gahan's keys work in Depeche Mode. "Nuage d'Ivoire" is one of Par Avion's highlights, while some slower pieces, like "Reflections," seem to drag on a bit. (Ghostly International)