Obligatos of a trailerpark leauriette
“Lo-Fi” music is often interpreted as some kind of ethical stance against big $tudios and such, but in most cases it’s an economic stance. The reality of it is that if you worked long enough and hard enough to afford something closer to perfection, you wouldn’t have as much, perhaps ANY time to create music. So you trade “good sounding” recordings for the chance to create a greater number of songs. But, most bands/artists would love to have both the time AND the ducats to sit in a big studio for hours (digitally processing the music so it sounds more “raw”). Auteurs of lo-budge use their disadvantages to their advantage and make their environment work for them. Overdriven tinny guitar with reverb-string section, Casio keyboard with distortion and a wah pedal saxophone… etc. Strange takes on the space/dynamic question, this aesthetic really appeals to glaucoma sufferers who’ve just “taken their medicine.” A.LEP and Pinellas Anthemonic explode the “lo-fi” system.
Pinellas Anthemonic is a 36 track stuck in an eight track’s body. This duo has yet to perform live, but claim they will eventually hire a live band “like Steely Dan used to..” This is not the only commonality between PA and the Dan.
First there’s the arrangements, then the multi-instrumentation (beautiful banjos, keys, harmonies), then there’s the fact that your parents would like them. Pinellas maintain a thoughtful environment in the same way Thinking Fellers do or Van Halen used to (you don’t get that, do you?). Everything is big and heady but remains fun.
Pinellas Anthemonic also have some bass drum heavy, electronic songs that actually have structure, that are song-like.
The tunes of Pinellas Anthemonic are written/arranged grandly and recorded modestly while A. LEP takes an opposite approach. Pretty much one writer in collaboration with a bunch of others, A. LEP comes from a singer/songwriter angle.
As a prisoner of USF’s truly progressive school of music, and a student of Paul Reller’s PSI-COM studios (home to a great deal of experimental mayhem), A.LEP takes his simple songwriting approach and ices it with recording techniques, or anti-techniques. From his written marimba composition “Cincinnati,” to the very listenable, atonal lounge of “Royal Suk,” the timbres are compelling.
There’s some clichés to contend with, a lot of romanticizing vices like smoking and drinking wine, but it’s a thin layer of bullshit that can also be entertaining when tweaked right, like on the Zappa-afro-centric “Bungtama,” an electronic hand clap fest with straight up Prince style guitar funk, the whole thing being heard through a cloud of dirt weed smoke. A sound collage of almost two dozen songs, three fourths of which are really good, I get the same feeling from this cassette (and Pinellas Anthemonic), that I do when I buy a really good 99cent LP. You can write to A.LEP’s home camp and get the tape for about 99 cents, same with Pinellas Anthemonic. A.LEP, 318 W. Friarson, Tampa, FL 33603; email@example.com; Pinellas Anthemonic, 1024 1/2 16th Ave N., Apt. A, St. Petersburg, FL 33704;