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Electric Company - Exitos

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Album Review

Released only as a limited-edition extra disc with the first run of Amnesia's Cherry Flavor Night Time, this is, indeed, simply Laner remixing his band, but doing so in such a radical fashion that it's far more appropriate to term it an Electric Company release in full. Taking each track from the original album in order and revamping it completely, Plays succeeds so well that it makes one hope that other artists would engage in similar moves. The original songs, with their dreamy post-shoegaze crunch, turn into aggressive, abstract compositions in Laner's hands, as the opening number "Suzurro" makes clear. Drum loops are started, stopped, reintroduced, distorted, and cut short, as are guitar blasts, bass rumbles, and all sorts of hard-to-determine sounds. Tempos constantly shift, while anything close to hummable rapidly gets chucked. The similarities A Pert Cyclic Omen had to Main's frosty sense of creeping doom are retained here, but the other line of descent would have to be the Bomb Squad at their most "out-there" (the massive hip-hop beats plus the "everything on top of everything else" approach never fails in the right hands). Where things remain somewhat straightforward, as in the charging pulse and rumble of "Stay Away," these adaptations are still millions of miles away from the originals. Among the strongest numbers are "The Unlikely Faucet," where a barely there rhythm and static-laden crackling combines with a series of extreme feedback shimmers, and "External," where various ominous background drones mix with sudden interjections of audio vérité noise (barking dogs, airplane engines, etc.). Ending with an unlisted bonus track of a woman talking about her discovery of a hermaphrodite infant while babysitting — accompanied by yet another strange rhythm and more cut-up vocal samples — Plays is challenging and fascinating listening.


Formed: 1995 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The recordings of Electric Company are the end result of indie-rock figurehead Brad Laner's relentless experimentation within a range of post-punk styles, from avant-garde rock to thrash to alternative pop to electronica. His work as Electric Company is nominally based within electronica, though it's more of a studio hybrid embracing guitar-rawk, drum'n'bass and noise. A long-time fan of experimental/improv artists from Beefheart to Throbbing Gristle to the Residents, Laner founded his first band...
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Electric Company - Exitos, Electric Company
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