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            If you've been the frontman of one of Europe's most lauded and obsessed over alternative rock bands for more than two decades, maybe the best way to kick back and clear your head between records is to enter the studio with one of continent's most respected producers of galloping 4/4 ultra-heavy techno and see what happens. If you're dEUS frontman Tom Barman and that producer is CJ Bolland, the result will turn out to be nothing less than a revelation.

            Now less a side project and more a fusion of the disparate, complimentary talents, Magnus is the semi-regular rendezvous of Barman - dEUS' talismanic frontman and Bolland - the legendary producer of floor-buckling electronic classics such as 'It Ain't Gonna Be Me' (used to dazzling effect in the film 'Human Traffic') and the colossal club track 'Sugar is Sweeter'. Having first worked together in 2004 on their first collaborative album 'The Body Gave You Everything' - a record that Barman described as sounding like "JJ Cale meets Kraftwerk" - the duo returned to the studio with a host of collaborators following the surprise 2012 release of dEUS' 'Following Sea'.

            From the opening one-two 'Puppy' and 'Last Bend' - each sounding like dissonant R'n'B broadcasts from an orbiting space station - Magnus' second album 'Where Neon Goes To Die' is unexpected, futuristic and highly addictive. While dEUS deal in everything from crowd-levelling slacker anthems ('Suds'n'Soda') to genius disjointed acoustic blues ('Instant Street') and Bolland is renowned for creating utterly transcendent floor fillers ('Horsepower'), Magnus' music is pure, crystalline and very direct; a synthesis of human heart and electronic soul, it is music created by a modernist man machine.

            Envisaging the end of a certain kind of retro-futurism, the album title - a lift from a quote by legendary comedian Lenny Bruce with a cover photo taken at the Neon Boneyard, an open-air museum in Vegas where discarded signs retire - sees Barman and Bolland sound tracking a certain kind of gloam, creating scores for flickering, crumbling dance floors the world over.

            Across the record's ten tracks, Bolland and Barman conjure a hazy, late-night world of hypnotic strobe light stomps ('Regulate'), flute-led easy listening analogue ballads ('Getting Ready') and glimmering cybernetic pop ('Singing Man'). Taking the call to join the duo in the studio are guest vocalists Tom Smith (Editors), David Eugene Edwards (Wovenhand), French singer Mina Tindle, Blaya (from blazing Portuguese kuduro outfit Buraka Som Sistema), rising star Selah Sue and Belgian R&B singer Billie Kawende. While that roll call may seem like a list of strangely disparate talents, each vocalist's uniqueness only serves to accentuate the record's brilliance.

            Thankfully, 'Where Neon Goes To Die' is no fleeting reunion for Barman and Bolland. This time round, the once-a-decade studio partnership of two of Belgium's most endearing, forward-thinking musicians takes to the live stage for a series of shows. The duo are working as a five-piece band, amongst them Tim Vanhamel of Belgian band Millionaire and legendary Palm Desert rockers Eagles of Death Metal. Hearing that live set up tear through 'Where Neon Goes To Die' - an album that's wild-eyed with frenetic creativity and very much created in the studio - well, that's where the fun really begins.

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