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Skalpel: Konfusion

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Skapel crafts noirish jazztronica soundscapes, favoring simple, recurring melodies and rhythmic motifs. The Polish duo of Marcin Cichy and Ignor Pudlo culls many of its samples from old Polish jazz LPs, but it’s obvious that the two have studied tons of David Axelrod records. They exhibit the same sort of obsessive attention to drum kick and rumbling bass lines while also sharing an affinity for his melancholy, almost baroque sense of orchestration. Tunes like “Flying Officer” and “Long Distance Call” project a brooding sensuality, while the dramatic “Hiperbole” and the suspenseful title track could enliven both an espionage film and an Italian porn flick. Konfusion is seductive, if numbing; but when the songs are played individually, breaking up the continuous mood music, they’re more enjoyable.

Konfusion’s bonus disc compiles various remixes, including variations of “1958” and “Break In” from Skalpel’s 2004 self-titled debut. Quantic manages to spruce “1958” with a snappy, break-beat house thump without the original version’s retro-feel, and Dr. Rubberfunk inserts fat, wah-wah guitar tickles in “Break In,” almost transforming the original early-’60s beatnik spy-movie feel into ’70s blaxploitation funk.