I won't pretend to know what kind of musical taste robots have. Heck, they could be raging Neil Diamond fans. But with every new album, Talkdemonic begins to sound more and more like the audio equivalent of Isaac Asimov. Welcome to 2100 A.D. I guarantee you'll dig the sound.

Talkdemonic's Kevin O'Connor and Lisa Molinaro have been racking up accolades from reviewers since their debut album, Mutiny Sunshine, back in 2004. Willamette Week named the duo Portland's Best New Band in 2005, and we can't stop gushing every time they come to town. Now, with the release of their fourth album, Ruins, Talkdemonic offers yet another journey through the futuristic digital plane they call home.

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With each album Talkdemonic strikes a better balance between the orchestral and the electronic. Acoustic elements rise to greater dominance on tracks like "Revival" and "Chimera," and rat-a-tat drum licks lend "Palace Walk" a march-like immediacy. Talkdemonic's electronic flourishes still prevail, but Ruins feels more like a collection of musical conversations than a compilation of laptop-dependent compositions.

The opening half of "Violet" does seem almost out of place on the album, a sort of jerky, in-studio game of red-light, green-light. But just as quickly—and on the same track, no less—Talkdemonic reaches a level of visionary elegance that would move even the most stoic of robots.

Talkdemonic plays the Top Hat Fri., Nov. 18, at 10 PM. $10.

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