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Claro Intelecto Metanarrative

Manchester resident Mark Stewart’s work as Claro Intelecto fuses his hometown’s wintry austerity and vibrant Haçienda legacy into a mesmerizing, memorable sophomore album. These are thoroughly British techno songs: refined and melodically grounded with nods to Detroit’s and Berlin’s early-’90s sound as well as Warp’s warm electronic output. Aphex Twin and Black Dog cast shadows over the misleadingly titled “Harsh Reality,” a gentle track with watery synths that amble along like a country creek. Likewise, blissful numbers “Innocence,” “Operation,” and the spectacularly dubby “Dependent” instigate rhythmic hypnosis. Stewart’s arrangements retain a rueful, distant tone, like choir hymns drifting from a faraway cathedral. Metanarrative is a mysterious techno album that doesn’t have to be figured out to be enjoyed.

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