Influenced by Fleetwood Mac, Chicago house music, Animal Collective, and copious amounts of peppermint tea, Cut Copy -- made up of Dan Whitford, Tim Hoey, Mitchell Scott, and Ben Browing -- began as Whitford's solo DJ project in 2001. It then emerged on the scene as a performance trio with 2004's Bright Like Neon Love, and Browning joined following 2008's In Ghost Color.
The group's third full-length Zonoscope delivers blissed-out clubbing sounds, reverberant bustle, and post-industrial introspection while in no way neglecting the band's more entrancing, indie-pop tendencies.
The quartet invested in analog synths to augment live-digital hybrid percussion and sparkly whorls of treble, using both a vintage Roland Space Echo and the whole of its tennis court-sized recording space to capture a dreamy psychedelic palette. And it used blankets, old mattresses, and other odds and ends to create a recording room like "a kid's playhouse," where the group ensconced for six months to harbor "a deliberate conceptual focus to sort of see what rhythm would mean to a song rather than following chords or melodies," says Browning.
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The result is a soulful sequence of festival-friendly songs that build tension and deliver climax. A confluence of everything Cut Copy does well, with an even more celebratory, nuanced aesthetic, Zonoscope delivers not only as an album but as an experience.
-- Tony Ware
Cut Copy as part of the Ultra Music Festival with a performance on Saturday, March 26. Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Gates open at noon on Saturday. Tickets are sold out. Visit ultramusicfestival.com.