Tuesday, April 19, 2011
OSCILLATIONS: ELEKTROWORLD by Elecktroids
Given the vagaries of homage, inspiration, or mere copying, this 1995 Warp release blurs the lines between those types of appropriation, while looking back to Kraftwerk's seminal COMPUTER WORLD (1981) album for... almost everything! ELEKTROWORLD barely pushes the boundaries of its much lauded parent. Even the cover design shamelessly takes that album's simplified graphic sense and color scheme as the last word in futuristic visual propaganda. This aesthetic extends to track titles too, especially songs such as "Future Tone", "Silicon Valley", "Thermo Science" and "Japanese Elecktronics". They may sound rather anachronistic to 2011 ears, but that's really the fun of this 20th century concept. Songs are generally chanted catch phrases floating on electricity. The "group", as seen on the cover, wear identical outfits and headgear, and exude an air of anonymous scientists in keeping with their connection with Drexciya, Arpanet, Dopplereffekt, and Der Zyklus. This may also be an homage to the Residents, another identity-free group of sonic adventurers. While the Elecktroids use the same faux scientific methodology and aesthetic as Dopplereffekt, there is little of the latter group's somber tone here. Without science as savior/menace as a totem, the Elecktroids seem more like The Monkees with analogue synths, drum machines, and a vocoder. Fun, but hardly nourishing.