GENERAL ELECTRIKS-“Good City for Dreamers”

I can’t begin to tell you how much crap I get in my inbox every day. In a lot of ways, I’ve come to dread the padded yellow envelopes and e-mails-with-paperclips, because I take what I do here very (too?) seriously, and respect each and every indie artist who comes to me looking for exposure. I know that a pot on my blog won’t make or break them, but I also know that it takes many little drops of water to fill a bucket, and I know how great it fells, as an artist, to get some recognition–any recognition at all. So I listen to to all submissions, even those that are obtuse or difficult to get into. Sometimes, that effort can be quite rewarding. Which brings me to General Electriks.

The Band is really one dude, Hervé “RV” Salters, who has plaid with the terrifically underrated, but often uneven, rap group Blackalicious. So at least I’m not biased against it going in.

I heard the first song and I was interested, but not impressed. At first, I was ready to write the project off as quirky sonic fluff–the same way I look at Phoenix or Hot Chip (I know, lots of you dig them) or many of the Human League wannabe bands of today–but as the album went on, I found myself hitting the back button. Often. Especially on “You Don’t Listen,” which lulled me into a sweet pop trance before taking a left turn and becoming something almost . . . Jammy? And “Helicopter,” which is less of a song than it is part-chant, part-fascinating rythm (think Go! Team meets Four Tet). And “La Nuit Des Ephemeres,” which reminded me of MF DOOM’s “Hyssop” instrumental. And the whistle-y “Raid the Radio.” I came to understand that the band was a lot like Thomas Dolby: Grounded in electrobeats, but willing to take winding, twisting routes through every melody, completely non-linear, and constantly expanding. This album gets better with every listen.

I think I’ll listen again.

Take Back the Instant

And go to the band’s site to find mp3s with Pigeon John, Lateef and Mr. Lif. Great stuff.

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