RECORD REVIEW: PEAKING LIGHTS - LUCIFER
Reviews
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:50
 

Mexican Summer / Weird World

Peaking Lights Official Site

Buy vinyl here

 

Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes, the married couple behind the psychedelic electronic duo Peaking Lights certainly wear their spirituality on their sleeves when it comes to expressing themselves through the art of making music. On their third effort, Lucifer, that otherworldly expression is delivered through the sonic lens of a variety of genres and sub-genres, all within a nocturnal context, although there are doses of both late and early sunlight, dusk and dawn. On an album that pays homage to analog electronic music, Lucifer employs elements of lounge, pop, dubstep and reggae to unique, laconically manic effect. There is less of the sound collage approach produced here than on their breakout 2010 effort, 936 and apart from the bookends, 'Moonrise' and 'Morning Star' that represent a little of that, there are six fully developed and tautly written tracks still of substantial enough length to go off into hypnotic tangents. But none of them lose their focus. In fact, the combination of being able to pull off laid back, relaxed, yet disciplined fully formed creations is testament to their ample songwriting abilities.

The album in essence is a representation of their dedication to a cyclical rather than linear approach to existence. Indeed, both have feet firmly in the exploration and celebration of the sub-conscious where the concept of timelessness, dreams and deep realisations are the central drivers to their art. And, while the title of the album, Lucifer might lead some to consider that the two have done a deal with the devil, if you put Christianity aside (and why wouldn't you?), the term in actuality is the representation of the planet Venus, a beam of light; in essence, sunrise. And these two concepts, cyclicality and repetition put together are the firm signifiers that characterises every aspect of what Lucifer, as a record, is.

Opening track proper 'Beautiful Son', is an ode to well...their young son, whom the multi-faceted experience of having is essentially the subject of the album. It immediately reminds of early Air with its lounge type feel and repetitive chimes all completed with Dunis's smooth yet fragile and effected vocal. 'Live Love' is a busy shuffling jam that contains a plethora of simple arrangements that sit side by side to actually create a track that ends up being quite complex and presents as a standout on an incredibly even album. 'Cosmic Tides' never hides its intentions containing unmistakable nods to dub and reggae. Dunis's echoed vocals and Coyes's busily oscillating keyboard flourishes give the track an aquatic feel. Again, a layered approach is employed that keeps the track ever busy but nothing is cluttered here. The space created, given the fact there's so much going on is a triumph. And that goes for every track.

Side Two begins with 'Midnight (In The Valley Of Shadows)' featuring addictively dream like mantras combined with a constant beat replete with jilted electronic percussion which ebbs away throughout. A snazzy bass line creates a dancy vibe that would still find a welcome home in the wee small hours as the party starts to wind down - layered electronic horns serve to remind that its not over yet. Dubstep makes a return on the giant 'Lo Hi', as its winding bass slowly snakes its way around you and the primordial beat positively sweats. All the while synths cascade down and combine with a noodling, spiral like keyboard signature. Organ and woodwind elements and then brass take things down a notch as the duo's son makes an appearance in all his humanness. 'Dreambeat', with its funky bass, spiky guitar sound and triumphant retro laden keys keeps the energy flowing as the music seamlessly matches the songs concept, that is the ever constant beating heart; "it's in the rhythm of the heart" repeats Dunis.

As Coyes states tellingly, the concept and story of Peaking Lights is according to his own words, "A bunch of circles rotating at different speeds but still intertwined like the Mayan calendar or how I visually imagine gamelan" (traditional Indonesian instrumentation). And so it is on Lucifer, below literally and metaphorically in the first sense and ornamentally in the latter. The key is that the album is derived from multiple elements that can be employed in many contexts. The oscillating energies mean that it can be enjoyed alone sunning it up, daydreaming. Or alternatively together at the warming up, at the height or at the winding down of a party and certainly at the come down after party. Coyes' stated that Lucifer would be 'the tranced vibrations of the most killer all night party you've been too, less cocaine, more weed, a sustained orgasm". After sustained listens, we can tell you, while high self-praise indeed, whatever your drug of choice, he ain't far wrong.

James Stocker - August 6, 2012.

 

Lo Hi

Peaking Lights (USA)
From the album, 'Lucifer', Mexican Summer/Weird World.

Peaking Lights Official Site

Audio Stream

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The Juan Maclean Official Site

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LYDIA AINSWORTH (CAN)

Right From Real

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Lydia Ainsworth Official Site

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SBTRKT (ENG)

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SBTRKT Official Site

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No Time

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September 9, 2014

TOPS (CAN)

Picture You Staring

Arbutus Records

TOPS Facebook

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September 2, 2014

MERCHANDISE (USA)

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Merchandise Facebook

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August 26, 2014

FKA TWIGS (ENG)

LP1

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FKA twigs Facebook

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1. Prelude
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5. Pendulum
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10. Kicks

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August 19, 2014

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10. The Light
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August 12, 2014

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Heaven

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9. Edo Method
10. The River Sumida
11. Golden House (feat. Juri Nakashima)
12. Heaven Holds A Place (feat. Harriet Brown)
13. Heaven (feat. Juri Nakashima)
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August 5, 2014

WOMAN'S HOUR (ENG)

Conversations

Secretly Canadian

Woman's Hour Official Site

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1. Unbroken Sequence
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4. Darkest Place
5. In Stillness We Remain
6. Our Love Has No Rhythm
7. Her Ghost
8. Two Sides Of You
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10. Reflections
11. The Day That Needs Defending

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July 29, 2014

MELTED TOYS (USA)

Melted Toys

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Melted Toys Facebook

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1. Intro
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5. A Postcard
6. Blush
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8. Water Arches
9. Joy Fit
10. Observations
11. Come On
12. Citrus Honeymoon
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July 22, 2014

HOW TO DRESS WELL (USA)

What Is This Heart?

Domino / Weird World

How To Dress World Facebook

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3. Face Again
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6. Words I Don't Remember
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8. Precious Light
9. Childhood Faith In Love (Everything Must Change, Everything Must Stay The Same)
10. A Power
11. Very Best Friend
12. House Inside (Future Is Older Than The Past)
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July 15, 2014

TOTAL CONTROL (AUS)

Typical System

Iron Lung

Total Control Official Site

Buy digitally here  (vinyl sold out & delayed)

1.Glass
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3. Flesh War
4. Systematic Fuck
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7. Black Spring
8. The Ferryman
9. Hunter
10. Safety Net

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July 8, 2014

THE ANTLERS (USA)

Familiars

Anti- / Trangressive

The Antlers Official Site

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1. Palace
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3. Hotel
4. Intruders
5. Director
6. Revisited
7. Parade
8. Surrender
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July 1, 2014

THE FRESH & ONLYS (USA)

House Of Spirits

Mexican Summer

The Fresh & Onlys Official Site

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1. Home Is Where?
2. Who Let The Devil
3. Bells Of Paonia
4. Animal Of One
5. I'm Awake
6. Hummingbird
7. April Fools
8. Ballerina
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10. Madness

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June 24, 2014

BEN FROST (AUS/ICE)

Aurora

Bedroom Community / Mute

Ben Frost Soundcloud

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1. Flex
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3. The Teeth Behind Kisses
4. Secant
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6. Venter
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8. Sola Fide
9. A Single Point Of Blinding Light
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June 17, 2014

PARQUET COURTS (USA)

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Parquet Courts Facebook

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6. Always Back In Town
7. She's Rollin'
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June 10, 2014

SHARON VAN ETTEN (USA)

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Jagjaguwar

Sharon Van Etten Official Site

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6. I Love You But I'm Lost
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10. I Know
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June 3, 2014

SWANS (USA)

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Swans Facebook

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10. To Be Kind

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May 27, 2014

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The Shilohs

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The Shilohs Official Site

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May 20, 2014

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Sway

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Amaya Laucirica Official Site

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1. Three Heart Delay
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4. On The Air
5. You Only Say Goodbye
6. Running Out Of Time
7. Not Been Sleeping
8. Falling All Around
9. This Morning's Blue
10. Ocean Wide
11. Falling Out Of Time

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May 13, 2014

BRETT (USA)

Brett

Cascine

Brett Facebook

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1. Chalon
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May 6, 2014

WOODS (USA)

With Light and With Love

Woodist 

Woods Facebook

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1. Shepherd
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3. With Light And With love
4. Moving To The Left
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7. Twin Steps
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April 29, 2014

FEAR OF MEN (ENG)

Loom

Kanine

Fear Of Men Facebook

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1. Alta
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5. Tephra
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10. Inside
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April 22, 2014

SOFTSPOT (USA)

Mass

Self Released

SoftSpot Facebook

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1. King Porus
2. You/Yours
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April 15, 2014

ODONIS ODONIS (CAN)

Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled

Buzz Records

Odonis Odonis Official Site

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4. New Obsession
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April 15, 2014

PROTOMARTYR (USA)

Under Color Of Official Right

Hardly Art

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4. Trust Me Billy
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11. I Stare At Floors
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14. I'll Take That Applause
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April 1, 2014

FUTURE ISLANDS (USA)

Singles

4AD

Future Islands Official Site

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1. Seasons (Wating On You)
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3. Sun In the Morning
4. Doves
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7. Light House
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10. A Dream Of You And Me

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March 25, 2014

THE WAR ON DRUGS (USA)

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Secretly Canadian

The War On Drugs Official Site

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1. Under The Pressure
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3. Suffering
4. An Ocean In Between The Waves
5. Disappearing
6. Eyes To The Wind
7. The Haunting Idle
8. Burning
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10. In Reverse

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March 18, 2014

REAL ESTATE (USA)

Atlas

Domino

Real Estate Official Site

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March 11, 2014

WILD BEASTS (ENG)

Present Tense

Domino

Wild Beasts Official Site

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1. Wanderlust
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7. A Simple Beautiful Truth
8. A Dog's Life
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March 4, 2014

ANGEL OLSEN (USA)

Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Jagjaguwar

Angel Olsen Official Site

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1. Unfucktheworld
2. Forgiven/Forgotten
3. Hi-Five
4. White Fire
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10. Enemy
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February 25, 2014

SUN KIL MOON (USA)

Benji

Caldo Verde

Sun Kil Moon Official Site

Buy here (CD Only - no vinyl release)

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3. Truck Driver
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5. Pray For Newtown
6. Jim Wise
7. I Love My Dad
8. I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same
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11. Ben's My Friend

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February 18, 2014

RICKY EAT ACID (USA)

Three Love Songs

Orchid Tapes

Ricky Eat Acid Facebook

Buy limited edition vinyl here

Download free digital version here

1. There Is Only You In The Light & Nothing Else
2. Driving Alone Past Roadwork At Night
3. Inside My House; Some Place I Keep Dreaming About
4. Big Man's Last Trip Outside
5. In Rural Virginia; Watching Glowing Lights Crawl From The Dark Corners Of The Room
6. Inside Your House; It Will Swallow Us Too
7. It Will Draw Me Over To It Like It Always Does
8. In My Dreams We're Almost Touching
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11. I Can Hear The Heart Breaking As One
12. Starting Over

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February 11, 2014

BE FOREST (ITA)

Earthbeat

We Were Never Being Boring

Be Forest Facebook

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1. Totem
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February 4, 2014

CYMBALS (ENG)

The Age Of Fracture

Tough Love Records

Cymbals Facebook

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5. The 5%
6. The Fracture Of Age
7. Like An Animal
8. Erosion
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10. The End
11. Call Me

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2014 POST REVIEW

September
 
Mini Dresses (USA)
The Luxembourg Signal (USA/ENG)
Lydia Ainsworth (CAN)
YAWN (USA)
J. Fernandez (USA)
Client Liaison (AUS)
Sleepmakeswaves (AUS)
Nicholas Nicholas (USA)
Sportsmen (AUS)
Fiance (USA)
 
August
 
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Merchandise (USA)
Peaking Lights (USA)
Caribou (CAN)
Bam Spacey (SWE)
Kim Ki O (TUR)
Slow Magic (USA)
The Bilinda Butchers (USA)
Himlakropp (SWE)
Kamp! (POL) 
 
July
 
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Distant Cousin (USA)
Millionyoung (USA)
Laetitia Sadier (FRA)
The Bilinda Butchers (USA)
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Space Daze (USA)
 
June
 
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Dressmaker (ENG)
Soft Walls (ENG)
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Blood Orange (USA)
Firekites (AUS)
The Death Of Pop (ENG)
Police Des Moeurs / Essaie Pas (CAN)
 
May

Champion Lover (CAN)
The Shilohs (CAN)
Allie X (CAN)
DNKL/Video (SWE)
Nicholas Nicholas (USA)
The Death Of Pop (ENG)

April

PANES (ENG)
Tearjerker (CAN)
Movement (AUS)
Elephant (ENG)
ESC (AUS)
Softspot (USA)
Camilla Sparksss (CAN)
Odonis Odonis (CAN)
Hydrogen Sea (BEL)
Frett (ENG)
Motorama (RUS)

March

Grand Courriers (USA)
Yumi Zouma/Air France (NZL/SWE)
Fear Of Men/Video (ENG)
Future Islands (USA)
Cloud Boat (ENG)
Francobollo (ENG/SWE)
Samaris (ICE)
The War On Drugs (USA)
Ang Low (USA)
Arrange (USA)
Tincture (AUS)
Roladex (USA)
Solitary City (ENG)
Real Estate (USA)
DNKL (SWE)
Protomartyr (USA)

February

Wild Beasts (ENG)
Amaya Laucirica (AUS)
Bart Davenport (USA)
Hockeysmith (ENG)
Farao (NOR)
Yellow Ostrich (USA)
Ricky Eat Acid (USA)
Fear Of Men (ENG)
Stripmall Architecture (USA)
Cymbals (ENG)
Pillar Point (USA)
Kauf (USA)
Be Forest (ITA)
Yumi Zouma (NZL)

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