Music Review: The Synaesthetic Picture Show, Now Playing Part 4 EP by Elektragaaz
Conditioning is a powerful thing. I had the pleasure of reviewing “Cabin Fever,” the highly enjoyable single by the electronic and multi-fusion instrumental group Elektragaaz, in the spring of last year. So, when I learned that I now get to review their newly released EP, and the fourth official installment of their The Synaesthetic Picture Show series, I found myself immediately expecting to hear something just as fun and unpredictable. Luckily, that’s exactly what I got.
Before I dive deeper into the music, let me catch you up to speed. Elektragaaz is headed by “a mysterious and intensely private” composer with synesthesia, who goes by Poppo Redband. It first formed in the spring of 2017, when Trebor Lloyd received a mysterious phone call while hanging out at his Manhattan apartment; it started with a long silent pause that was soon interrupted by a youthful-sounding voice. “Hello, I see some music that needs listening,” it said.
Five years and four EPs later, the band is still going strong today. Which brings us to the most recent EP of The Synaesthetic Picture Show series. The first track is called “The Defiant Ones.” It’s cool that its title helps shape the perception of the music that follows. The “defiance” is heard in the juxtaposition of long electronic notes and fast-paced percussion and base notes. Next up is “Here Comes Your Girlfriend,” which makes me imagine DEVO mixed in with Nintendo music.
The third track on the EP is “Situation on Avenue B.” Very different from Gogol Bordello’s “Avenue B,” the track seems to resemble a journey more than a situation. It has a fleeting quality, as if a plot is moving and unfolding before our eyes, and we can barely keep up, incapable of anticipating what’s coming. It sounds anxious, but melodic. It’s followed by “CounterSpy,” which also sounds inline with its title; a sinister James Bond video game tune.
After that is “An Autumn Dance, A Dying Fall.” The track is a little more serious in its nature than the ones before it. Maybe a little less video game and a little bit more indie film. This makes sense, since one of the goals of the group is “to create movies in the mind of its listeners.” And last but not least, there’s “Her Body is A Dance.” I totally dig this one. It’s got a funky, jazzy and bluesy quality that’s hard to put into any specific category. But it’s pretty cool.
True, the music of Elektragaaz cannot be easily pigeon-holed, but the group would like to think that this is “the music of the future. Your future.” And I think I’m pretty OK with that. The Synaesthetic Picture Show, Now Playing Part 4 is available on all major music platforms. For more, follow Elektragaaz on Facebook, Instagram, and SoundCloud.
Note* Album provided for objective review by our partners.