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June 4, 2011 12:47 am

Frequent Traveller: Frequent Traveller

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Frequent Traveller

Frequent Traveller

(Platform 19)

An unlikely pairing of John Betjeman and Kraftwerk come to mind on Frequent Traveller, a whimsical concept album about commuting recorded on a laptop by the eponymous Frequent Traveller, real name Steve Spiro, on his daily railway commute to and from London where he works for a music production company.

The end-of-day train journey gets underway with vibrant Kraftwerk rhythms and Betjeman-style light verse (“He is the great British commuter/At night he comes home in a drunken stupor”), which give way to rich rolling ambient music as the sanctuary of home gets closer.

The spoken-word vocals are distractingly hammy but Spiro nicely captures the strangely volatile dynamics of commuting, the commuter switching identity between office and private life as the landscape outside morphs from city to countryside.

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