Somehow, I envision this disk in RCA microgroove vinyl, playing on a spindly leg walnut hi-fi in a knotty pine rec room. Perched around it are boho’s and intellectuals stoking their goatees and saying “yeah, man I get it. I get what these guys are saying!” Somehow, I feel left out of the conversation, however, and this ultra experimental sound reminds me of a sci-fi sound track, but not the kind of sci-fi that has rocket ships or shiny space suits. Electropolis hails from Minneapolis, which appears to be a booming center for experimental electronica. A quick read of the liner notes reveals a few interesting tidbits. First, there’s a proud claim that there are no overdubs on this record, and that 6 of the 11 cuts are spontaneously improvised compositions. Finally, they got a grant from the McKnight Foundation, so it’s not like this is commercially viable material.
Having hammered these 4 guys, let me toss out some positives. There IS some melodic structure here, but like avant garde jazz, it’s not easy to decode and you will not get it on the first listen. And if it’s really a spontaneous improv jam, they do pretty good job of keeping a unifying theme and mood. There is a place for this sound, but it needs visual imagery to set context, so I’d love to see it in a small film. But more than anything else, Electropolis sounds like Snakefinger, if he was trying to be arty.
Holy crap… am I “getting” this sound?