Considering the uneven and, occasionally, unintentionally hilarious results of conceptualism, one should expect Matmos to choke on flatulent gusts of pretension every time it cranks out an LP. But Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt have gleefully managed to counterbalance sonic experimentalism with congenial eclecticism and a relatively straightforward musical tradition.

Funny then that the concept the duo have decided to explore for their third album is The Civil War, since it is only now that they have figured out how to bridge their love between roots and electronic music without the two genres battling it out for equal space. A cover of "The Stars and Stripes Forever" shifts from gabber-inflected MIDI nightmare to a sepia-toned player-piano melody so effortlessly you'll barely notice, and "Z.O.C.K." recalls the Pogues in its infectious updating of an ancient British Isles dance rhythm with 21st-century technology and brio. And occasionally the group shuts the computer down for drowsy tracks like "For the Trees," jamming out and crafting a stately and elegant peace. Odd to call this sort of thing war, but it's the only kind any one of us should want to take part in.

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Justin Hampton