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Serengeti and Polyphonic’s Terradactyl is an album about place—losing place, mostly, struggling to find it again, and succumbing to the fact that it’s cold, and surprisingly lonely, when you’re dressed in the human condition. Serengeti, heretofore a master of on-record character acting, appears here as his most vulnerable self: someone wedged between a dream and a series of day-jobs, between a failed marriage and raising new life, inside of a large family with fractured ties, and split between two distinct racial/economic paradigms. His cracked abstractions (this is no “poor-me” man’s emo diary) paint him as homeless, at times literally, while weaving their meaning into the much larger loom of universal displacement. And as on this duo’s 2007 debut, Don’t Give Up, worldly beat-maestro Polyphonic is on hand to make beauty out of so much madness.

Ironically, Terradactyl, begins with “Bon Voyage,” digital tones bouncing into the foreground, then expanding into a frantic space-scape beneath Geti’s streaming vitriol toward a drug-abusing friend. “Playing in Subway Stations,” is idyllically calm by comparison: while rich synth-bass burbles alongside acoustic guitar and timpani drums, Geti and New Zealander Renee-Louise Carafice croon a bittersweet rendering of love’s transience. On “Move!,” clacking percussives rearrange themselves to an unknown cue, while the words follow suit by unraveling abstract yarns about motion. The live cello on instant standout “My Negativity” recalls Float-era Aesop Rock (albeit, re-produced by Tony Hoffer), with Geti delivering a pre-apocalyptic warning drenched in strange imagery. “Cleveland” cuts its own path between gorgeous ratcheting sounds, icy chromed vocals and quiet rap.

Serengeti & Polyphonic: Terradactyl

Bon Voyage Serengeti & Polyphonic 2'57''
Playing In Subway Stations Serengeti & Polyphonic 3'18''
Move! Serengeti & Polyphonic 4'01''
My Negativity Serengeti & Polyphonic 3'10''
Cleveland Serengeti & Polyphonic 3'16''
Steroids Serengeti & Polyphonic 4'03''
Patiently Serengeti & Polyphonic 4'29''
Call The Law Serengeti & Polyphonic 3'27''
La La Lala Serengeti & Polyphonic 3'06''
My Patriotism Serengeti & Polyphonic 2'58''
Dawn Under The Bridge Serengeti & Polyphonic 3'49''
Calliope Serengeti & Polyphonic 4'11''

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