Incorporating live instrumentation is always a gamble in house music, and sometimes Archie Pelago end up down on their luck. But with every release, they get better at blending the acoustic with the synthetic. "Chronomancer" has one of their prettiest rhythms, kicking up a gust of warm air behind it with some help from the cello. In its quietest parts, however, the saxophone becomes a little overbearing. It's something they correct on "Joyce Drop," where the horn bleats between the beats as a bold melodic accent rather than a heavy-handed lead. It also shows off their penchant for weird structures, as the beat suddenly switches gears about halfway through—a trick they love to pull.
"I Know About Robert's World" is a bustling world of offbeat textures, with bleepy melodies flying by like a tape on fast-forward. Here the cello and sax act as a grounded counterpoint to the electronic elements. The title track throws their sound in a blender—it's a tribal dreamscape of shifting rhythms, where the live instruments again take a more subdued role. For less forgiving listeners, their smoothness might melt into a mush of muzak, but Hall Of Human Origins shows they're becoming experts at toeing that line.