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Gate is the long-dormant alias of The Dead C's Michael Morley, who releases A Republic Of Sadness as the first Gate release in over ten years. The New Zealand avant-garde lynchpin is on tremendous form for this record, creating a dreamlike procession of slowed down loops, heavily treated vocals, jarring electronic textures and even beats. The first two tracks prove especially powerful, with 'Forever' elegantly crackling through a swathe of string sampling while pitched-down vocals utter something indistinct in the background and jittery programmed beats keep time. 'All' is every bit as good, propelling itself with a space-echo style treatment of a drum machine loop and a couple of semi-ambient synth chords wafting around. Once again the vocals seem out of sync and out of sorts, but it all adds to the uniquely bizarre feel of the piece. Perhaps weirder still is the Ariel Pink-goes acid-funk derangement of 'Desert', which in turn leads to more drum-conscious tracks like the nightmarish dancefloor visions of 'Freak' and its raved-up predecessor, 'Wilderness'. One of the strangest and least readily pigeonholed albums you'll hear for a while, A Republic Of Sadness is eminently worth exploring. (Boomkat)