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Creative Playthings

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Album Review

Much like his other releases for Tigerbeat6 (and this could apply to the label in general), Electric Company (Medicine's Brad Laner) can't sit still to save his artistic life. Throughout Creative Playthings' 18 tracks there lies an interesting hybrid of indie rock and electronic laptop wizardry, akin to labelmates Dwayne Sodahberk and Stars as Eyes. Much like its title, the album invokes a spirit that is childlike and innocent, complete with upbeat melodies, frantic beats, and rapid-fire edits, bleeps, and noises. The hyperactivity abounds — with one idea jumping to the next without apology and ideas never fully coming to fruition. One of the most notable highlights comes as the end of the record: if played on a computer CD drive, a whole slew of secret MP3s are included, another full-length album of material that almost bests anything on the proper album. Also included in the MP3 batch is a beautiful live performance from 1998. Song titles withstanding, it's an IDM album the whole family can enjoy.


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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Creative Playthings, Electric Company
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