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Acolyte
Delphic Acolyte
Released 11 January 2010
Producer Ewan Pearson
Label Polydor
Length 51:42
Genre Alternative dance
Website http://www.myspace.com/delphic
82

Mancunian magnificence.

As the most important oracle in the Greek World, the Delphic Oracle was seen as the font of all knowledge-a deep chasm at the centre of the earth that people flocked to in their droves to seek advice or to beg for sanctuary. Fast forward nearly 3000 years later, three friends from Manchester have come together to discuss possible names for their alternative dance band. After several suggestions, 'Delphic' is soon thrown into the mix and all three agree that there could not be a more fortuitous appellation to see them on their road to success.

Acolyte is Delphic's freshman offering and what a debut it is. Their first single, 'Counterpoint', is undoubtedly the strongest track on the album and it constituted a breath of fresh soundwave-air when it was released as an EP in April 2009. Same can be said for 'This Momentary'-their second single that dropped in late August after a summer dominated by the likes of Gaga and Katy Perry. Sure their brand of electronica shares striking similarities with both Bloc Party and Sonic Youth, but Delphic have put their own inimitable stamp on proceedings, especially in songs like 'Red Lights', 'Doubt' and 'Clarion Call' which seamlessly synthesize electronica beats and bass guitar.

Nearly every album has its Achilles heel and this one is no different-the title track 'Acolyte', at nearly 9 minutes is a little too self-indulgent for my liking. With no vocals, it drags a bit, only to change tack in the last two minutes into a revelatory exploration of pure dance and beats that nearly but-not-quite justifies the preceding 420 seconds. 'Submission' was another weak track in my book-it sounded bizarrely like it was being sung by those Norwegian kings of cheese a-ha (well maybe that was just me). That being said, eight songs out of ten ain't bad. What I liked about this album was that I didn't know what to expect. 'Ephemera' at just under 2 minutes seems like an experiment from Delphic-it's ethereal, almost elegiac in quality and wouldn't have seemed out of place on a soundtrack for a film like The Last of the Mohicans. 'Halycon'-Delphic's latest release, takes a few listens by and large before it starts to resonate but it's a real grower and I soon found myself humming along, albeit off-key.... Dubbed, "the first great album of 2010", by BBC Music writer Lou  Thomas, Acolyte is undoubtedly going to be the measuring stick for all of Delphic's future musical endeavours.

- Louisa McElwee