Haunted Science
Omni Trio
Moving Shadow Records

Omni Trio aren't really three people, as much as the name would suggest that. Haunted Science is actually the product of one Rob Haigh, a mainstay of Rob Playford's prolific Moving Shadow label stable.

As a collection of scientific drum and bass tracks, Haunted Science hits the spot. As a complete album, however, it's less successful. Most good albums are more than a mere compendium of individual tracks. Usually there's some type of musical bind that brings those eleven or twelve individual cuts together. In the case of Haunted Science, the commonality is the generally simplistic, sequenced, hard-science approach to the music and that, unfortunately, is just not enough to make this any more than just a good, solid album.

Yet in saying this, I should not ignore the fact that much of this is beautiful in its own, rigid, ordered way. Those who enjoy warbling, atmospheric chords and jazzy, ephemeral strings will find morsels to enjoy here because for the most part, the album is just that. It's warm, introspective and delicate yet at times, darker, more driven sounds emerge but never so 'dark-core' as to make chin-stroking, noodlin' lounge room listening impractical.

Highlights? The title track "Who Are You" is easily the best cut to be found here. Jazzy, mellow and melodic yet still tainted with that rigidly programmed, sequenced feel. The d'n'b classic "Trippin' On Broken Beats", a staple of many of the jazzier drum and bass samplers, appearing here in it's customary 'Carlito Mix' floats along through a series of jazz flavours, all the while fixed to a rigid, Alex Reece-like hardstep beat. "Rhythm Methods" is also nice - a dark piece shining with regular laid back organ flourishes whilst "Soul of Darkness" carries the same theme - a dark tone shimmering with hints of goodness and light.

A lot of the album is mostly pedestrian, bread and butter, meat and potatoes drum and bass. Tracks like "Haunted Kind", "The Elemental" and "Astral Phase" don't set the world alight but they don't offend the ear either.

Rob Haigh is certainly a talent but the degree of his musical flamboyance is questionable. If he loosened up and became a little more free form, his albums, including "Haunted Science" would be more than just cute little gems in my collection of drum and bass jewels.

Wayne Grivell

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