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Hahasound (Warp)

With apologies to Brian Eno, consider Broadcast's Hahasound, its Music for Films, Vol. 3. The U.K. electronica trio's first soundtrack-worthy excursions (the mini-album singles compilation Work and Non-Work and 2000's The Noise Made by People) possessed cool-cat sophistication, thanks to an affinity for Stereolab-esque tunes and spy-noir ripples that hung in the air like dainty smoke rings.

Hahasound also conjures cinematic images through deft sound manipulation, preserving the whimsical innocence of a carousel calliope ("Colour Me In") or strutting like early Cocteau Twins ("Man Is Not a Bird"). But its spacey synths are more turbulent than People's languid soundscapes: Frantic jazz drums drive the instrumental "Distortion," "Bird" ends in a clatter of glitchy pops and clicks, and "Hawk" whirs with insistent and ominous whipped beats. Moreover, vocalist Trish Keenan, girlish on tracks like "Valerie," unleashes her mischievous inner imp on "Pendulum," a dizzying collage of eerie samples and frazzled rhythms that swings like a gauntlet studded with spikes. Such vigor adds sonic diversity and heart-tugging emotional versatility to this music, making Hahasound its most well-rounded offering yet.

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