When the German group Lali Puna emerged in 1999, it sounded like an upgraded Stereolab. The krautrock and Kraftwerk had been ditched in favor of contemporary bleeps and bloopsā€”the kind of stuff that would make unwitting twee fans out of college kids everywhere when The Postal Service dropped two years later. On Our Inventions, the groupā€™s first album since 2004ā€™s guitar-steeped Faking The Books, Lali Puna makes a pointed return to form. The sudden left turn into post-rock and live drum-and-bass appears to have been just thatā€”a momentary diversionā€”and in its place are the kind of serene melodies, husky vocals, and fragile textures that made the band a favorite in the first place. ā€œRememberā€ sounds like it was plucked from 2002, no doubt partially due to the icy voice of Markus Acher (who usually croons in The Notwist) dueting with singer Valerie Trebeljahr. ā€œMove Onā€ borrows a little rhythmic inspiration from the stuttering favela funk of M.I.A., but by the end of the song, the beat has been swallowed by major-chord synths and bright chimes. The album-closing collaboration with Yellow Magic Orchestraā€™s Yukihiro Takahashi (ā€œOut Thereā€) nods to a greater tradition that Lali Puna surely belongs to, but Our Inventions is ultimately an album for modern nostalgistsā€”folks who miss the crisp electronica and springy pop that originally put Morr Music on the map.

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