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Who or what are Inventions? Mark Smith I know of well enough, thanks to repeated rinsings of the Explosions In The Sky back catalogue, but Matthew Cooper and Eluvium were until very recently unknown quantities to me. On the basis of Inventions, however, I'll be seeking to fill that lacuna in my musical landscape, because anyone involved with this album has got to be worth listening to.

I feel safe in assuming that it's Smith who is responsible for the shimmering, ice-bright guitar tones which, drenched with delay and reversed envelopes, punctuate these eight tracks of dream time. After all, the guy's got previous with that weapon. How they carved up the duty roster for these twitchy glitchy heard-from-beneath-a-blanket beats, the swelling strings and shoegazey synth pads, and the formless vocal utterances is anyone's guess, but my money would be on some sort of languid coin-toss equivalent. If music expresses the mindset of its makers, then these are surely two seriously mellow gentlemen.

And why the hell not? If you want winter bleakness, there's always the weather channels or parliamentary coverage. Inventions, on the other hand, while it may lack the cart-wheeling Easter parade energy of Explosions, is widescreen high definition outdoor ambience, a dawn walk on a spring morning through a forest covered with melting frost, echoing with the cheery drones, moans and hums of a planet shaking itself awake as the seasons shift.

I always thought that necessity was supposed to be the mother of invention, but there's no sense of urgency in this welcome premonition of what one might hope are more placid times. It's a wordless and blissful flotation tank session for the ears, so close your eyes and stick it on loop. With dreams like these, who needs reality anyway?

Paul Graham Raven