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April 20, 2005

{     Kanda - All the Good Meetings are Taken     }    

When it comes to laptop-sugar-pop, nobody does it sweeter than Kanda. All the Good Meetings are Taken has me feelin' diabetic- it's a 25 minute mainline dose of lo-fi indie-electro-rock fructose. The chirpy "They'll Need Cocaine" is the track that will likely get the most immediate attention, if not for it's catchy title alone than certainly for it's powdered-sugar beats and addictive chorus. To get the full Kanda experience though, you're going to have to dial up one of this album's more rockin' tunes- I suggest "White Pants" or the lead-in "Arctic". There's a nice balance struck here between saccharine synthetic beats and garagey melodic guitar, a balance that mimics the contrast between the duo's alternating vocals. Akina Kawauchi's voice is a cotton-candy counterpoint to Arland Nicewander's caramel-toned delivery, and whether they're trading off mid-song or every other track, you never lose sight of the interplay between the two. Threaded through all of this are melodies that range from bittersweet to blatantly new-wave, each track delivers a different flavored confection. We're also treated to varying instrumentation; from the organic warmth of the violin to cool synth tones, keyboard blips to toy glockenspiel tinkles- it's a delightfully mixed-bag affair. All the Good Meetings are Taken is the fourth release from Seattle-based Bop Tart records, and is available for purchase through Darla Records. It can also be downloaded from iTunes, at the standard per-song or full-album prices. You can sample the track "Arctic" on as well, though I suggest supplementing that with a download of "List" (one of the best love songs I've ever heard), "They'll Need Cocaine" and/or "White Pants", just to get the full-on flavor of Kanda in your ear.

     » Buy it from Darla Records
     » Bop Tart Records

By Adam in Music

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