"Lifelike," the second full-length release from New York-based, space-rock explorers Ui, is calmer, cooler and darker than what one might expect from a bass-and-drums-dominated band. Drummer Clem Waldmann and bassists Wilbo Wright and Sasha Frere-Jones spent more than a year creating the album's rhythmic beats and samples. The result is sure to induce head-bobbing and possibly soul-cleansing in the unsuspecting listener.
The disc opens with "Drive Until He Sleeps," a perfect blend of all three instruments into a borderline funk tune. Tracks like "Acer Rubrum" -- a live staple of the band since 1996 -- and "Green of the Melon" are deep and shadowy, bringing psychedelic rangers Stereolab to mind. (The groups have toured together and collaborated in the past.) Brooding at times, Ui's sample-heavy music is perfect for spacey states of consciousness.