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Past and Present Futurists

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Album Review

The music throughout Past and Present Futurists by Eltro is an interesting, repetitive electro-dream/trip-hop that layers rhythms and loops on top of the occasional guitar strum. But the vocal stylings of Jenny P., Diana Prescott, and Jorge Sandrini can, at times, kill the musical buzz. On the tighter, electronic-based tracks the group sounds like a safe Adult or early Laub. The trip-hop feel of "On One" is reminiscent of a looser Morcheeba or Portishead. On tracks like "FRAM" and "How Did It Happen So Slowly?," Eltro warms up to its Stereolab, Tortoise, and Lali Puna post-rock influences. Eltro peaks when it pulls out of locked verse grooves and opens up from the trance into the chorus or bridge while keeping the vocals interesting with effects that make it sound like a computer. "Lady of the Highway" has a lullaby quality with organ drones beaming as a long, layered programmatic American Analog Set. When Eltro focuses on the delicate layers it creates and backs off on the anxiety in the grooves, Past and Present Futurists becomes a wonderfully haunting affair. Eltro mixes up different styles and influences on Past and Present Futurists, almost stepping up and hammering out its own niche, but inevitably falling into its own repetitive traps.


Formed: 1995 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Forming in Philadelphia in 1995, Eltro began performing its brand of lush shoegazer rock around the Pennsylvania area while tightening its sound and putting together several songs. Releasing Information Changer in 1998, the group didn't see too much of an impact beyond the area and recorded Velodrome soon after. Longtime fans at Absolutely Kosher Records contacted the group...
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