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The Electric Forest

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Album Review

The third album by the Poster Children's electronic alter egos Salaryman, The Electric Forest comes nearly a full decade after the side project's debut, and over six years after its follow-up. Overall, however, it sounds like it could have been recorded during the same sessions. Salaryman's raison d'être is a slightly skewed, tongue-partway-in-cheek take on Tortoise-style post-rock. Taken either as parody or in earnest, the result is the same: choppy rhythms in off-kilter time signatures, electronic keyboards pulsing underneath distorted heavy guitar riffs, and distorted found-sound voices occasionally drifting through the middle distance. The only thing lacking is a particularly interesting musical and/or philosophical viewpoint, or at least some memorable tunes. As it is, The Electric Forest sounds like the Poster Children came across a cache of unfinished Salaryman tracks and decided to polish them up and send them out. Hardcore post-rock aficionados and Poster Children completists are the album's only real audience, and even they're more likely to be bemused than transported.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in Champaign, IL

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s

A visible link between indie-rock and the emergent post-rock later in the '90s, Salaryman formed around a quartet of ex-Poster Children: Rick and Jim Valentin, Rose Marschack and drummer Howie Kantoff. Based in the Midwestern college-town stronghold of Champaign, Illinois, the group began recording for an album in 1996. After its release on their own 12Inch Records, City Slang picked it up for...
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The Electric Forest, Salaryman
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