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M. Sage, 'Crick Dynamo'

Matthew Sage — who records as M. Sage — not only layers sound but reshapes the passage of time. In listening, you get the sense that stories, sounds, emotions and motions overlap not with a clash but a surprising ease.

Water, then, is a sympathetic metaphor for his music — it's ever-moving, yet ever-present. "Crick Dynamo," from Paradise Crick (out May 26), shimmers like sunlight off a small stream. Much like his contributions to the ambient jazz quartet Fuubutsushi, Sage centers this song's melody around cool, Bill Evans-inspired piano chords, but breaks everything apart with a tender touch: Synths gurgle, glide and pop playfully as dial-up noise swims through underwater guitar and lightly popped bass. Previously, he'd let those disparate sounds hang in the ether, but here, a flickering, glitching motion — not unlike Insen, Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto's brilliant 2005 collaboration — nudges everything forward toward an overwhelming, euphoric resolve.

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