The new album by the collective known as ElektraGaaz, is a mouthful. It may not be the only thing you find hard to swallow about this record, but it might just earn a modicum of your respect, upon its conclusion. ElektraGaaz is described as an amalgam of musicians, of which very few are full time members. It’s something of a musical train that has various passengers, hopping on and off, by turns. Most of the members are based out of New York, and they are said to be headed up by a mysterious figure.
Purportedly, Poppo Redband, or Redband, for short, is the elusive mastermind behind ElektraGaaz. All we know about Redband, is that he is based in Friesland, a province of The Netherlands. After placing a call to well tenured producer, Trebor Lloyd, and sharing his intentions, the two collaborated together to give rise to ElektraGaaz. Redband claims to have a neurological condition that allows him to see music, as well as hear it. This will become apparent when you hear the record’s content.
The Synaesthetic Picture Show: Now Playing Pt 1, is the debut album by ElektraGaaz. It’s an entirely instrumental affair, that some may find confusing, and others, downright off-putting. This is music to accommodate, rather than make any sort of statement, or vital connection. It is however, highly stylized, with sleek packaging. With sync licensing being one of the most profitable options for Musicians in the modern age, it could ultimately be Redband and company, laughing all the way to the bank.
“She Walks It Like She Talks It”, starts off with an almost tropical feel. Much of what is used on SPS is almost assuredly a synth, but it often sounds like xylophone. This one takes a bit of a sharp turn a minute or so in, introducing some crunchy guitar like effects. There are no major dynamic shifts or twists, as the track charges straight ahead. Nothing offensive on this song, though, and I’d call it a standout from the record.
Then we have “Phil Gumm’s Progress,” which up to this point, is one of the most engaging and immersive tracks on the album. It has soothing tones, and a smooth guitar, that rocks a little, but rolls even better. This song has the ability to evoke all sorts of imagery, and feelings. There’s a lot going on in the piece, but everything is nicely complimented, and it has a better sense of dynamics, overall. If you’re going to listen to the SPS, go out of your way to check this one out.
As far as instrumental albums go, SPS has character, and at least a degree of gravitas. Some people will find intrigue in the backstory, while others will find it pedantic and hokey. Statistically speaking, instrumental albums have a ceiling. ElektraGaaz are certainly aware of this, and they are also quite likely aware that there is a demand for this kind of content. The Picture show has a soundtrack, and together they equate the mystifying and peculiar entity, that is ElektraGaaz.
by Mark Ryan