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Record Review

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Born out of the San Diego hardcore scene, Tristeza uses complex repeating instrumental motifs to elicit bodily response, bypassing the brain in favor of eliciting a reaction much more basic and hypnotic.

For Mixed Signals, the band has turned over the material from its second full-length, Dream Signals in Full Circles, for an exercise that's a little more cerebral. Eleven remixers take on the task of infusing Tristeza's acoustic grooves with their own digital watermarks. Marumari, Diagram of Suburban Chaos and ::lackluster:: scatter, hiss and sputter across Tristeza's crystalline flickers like volcanic rock spewed into a cold bay. Sientific American and Verbose contribute highly rhythmic programming that skates under the melodies like marbles underfoot. Randomnumber and Styrofoam go at it like Timbaland vs. Tristeza. Elsewhere, Yellow6, Windy & Carl and Simon Raymonde (of Cocteau Twins fame) choose to elongate drunken, hazy tones.

A little bit post-rock, a little bit up-and-coming buzz-genre folktronica, Mixed Signals is as gently compelling as it is composed.

Tristeza plays The Earl Thurs., Feb. 28.

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