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Although Daisies 2 comes mere months after the debut What Are You Waiting For?, it highlights a shift in sound that seems fairly premeditated. The record peaks in intensity with openers “Life, At a Traffic Light” and “Freebird” before sinking into two emphatically laid back instrumentals, an ambient reprise of “Life,” and a pair of unusual covers: one a version of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the other based on Bill Fay’s unreleased track “Cosmic Boxer,” which he recorded in the late 70s after being abandoned by major labels in the UK. Hovering somewhere between inspired pop remakes and originals smuggling in used goods, both sport brisk tempos (145 and 160 bpm, respectively) and bookend the album’s more subdued second half. The predominance of breaks, rhodes, brass samples and minimal vocal refrains gets the whole project fluent in the language of British dance music as it sobered following the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, whereby raves were outlawed and beats banished to the clubs, effecting an emphasis on technical refinement and sophistication which eventually prevailed. Daisies 2 belongs to a world still deeply marked by policies of cultural desertification and their aftermath, and so toning down and tightening up would seem an appropriate reflex, even where it is not a compulsory alternative to producing music particularly for illicit forms of collectivity. released September 30, 2019
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