Alexis Taylor has long since been something of an unorthodox heartthrob – perpetually gawky, although recurrently heartwarming and with that, reliably reassuring. And whether it be with Hot Chip, About Group or owt else, his studied output has been consistently exceptional. The trend comes to continue with a newfangled collaboration with Cologne techno nut Justus Köhncke (a name which may ping a few sampled bells, given his recent soundtrack work with Irmin Schmidt of Can) as the duo combine to create under the guise of Fainting by Numbers. A pun on an artform renowned for its absolute artlessness, there’s a commensurate simplicity to opening gambit A Stone In The Ground, though in simplicity here resides an intricate kind of excellence: a slowly smouldering, prototypal ballad of sorts Taylor’s deadpan vocal laments a breakdown in relations. “I thought you were easy to find/ You are now hard to find” he keens plaintively over the sort of Early Learning Centre beats to have featured all-pervasively throughout In Our Heads. And dished out of his and into ours, it’s one to treasure up top.
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