ELECPHONIC: ELECPHONIC  A whimsically Mercurial collection of nine tracks simmered and steeped in a stew of electronica. Released on Daniel Gannaway's Truly Independent label, ELECPHONIC presents an incisive socio-political commentary in it's lyrical content and continues the wryly opinionated tradition of the label's various previous releases, such as OP-ED. Going to Goa, for example, reflects on the cultivated ignorance of India's many tie-dyed faux-hippy tourists. 'I don't really want to know about Goa's long history that stretches back to BC third century, I just want to get high by the Arabian Sea... I'm going to grow my hair and get braids and beads; I'm going to do yoga under the ubiquitous coconut tree.' A standout track is the humorously titled Freakin on a Sneaka, deriding the bizarre, though unstoppably popular sneaker culture/industry. 'Pumping the price up with limited runs, vintages and retros and new combinations, they make crazy money while people slave in sweat shops off shoe addicts like me just hanging for the Quickstrike... 300 pair locked down in dry storage. Ain't even been worn, still got them in their boxes...' In a later track, waxing philosophical on America's fascination with oversized 4x4s, ELECPHONIC prophetically states of the SUV: 'I'll always be happy as long as I have my toys.' It seems that feeding the West's need for distractions, indulgences and toys is a global preoccupation that we foolishly call 'growth and progress'... Truly quirky, yet indulgently crafted, ELECPHONIC is at it's heart an exercise in musical creationism in that it arrives fully-formed from the ether with not a hint of evolution or precedent. The album can be enjoyed on a variety of levels, for it is musically competent, engaging and varied, and also taps the rich vein of 'currency' offered by electronica. It's the lyrical adeptness, though, that holds the ear. For while the compositions build, crescendo and fall with great personality, the words have a lingering resonance which gives each track a depth of character not entirely familiar to the electronic genre. :: Review - NZ Musician Magazine ELECPHONIC: Self-titled By Ania Glowacz This is a somewhat unconventional foray into electronica. Unusual in that the lyrics are significant and important - yet are vocoded and treated with a variety of alien-type effects, rendering them a little incoherent on first or most listens. It takes a bit of patience and concentration to fully appreciate this work. There's a lot of retro synths and disco beats in the music, along with more trance-type and contemporary elements that also distract from the core of the material - the words (provided). So whilst the lyrics have something to say (topics include SUVs, wasted hippies in Goa, the violent effects of sonar on marine life, the sneaker industry), they're not immediately obvious. Some of it sounds dated and a bit clumsy, but the tweaked and twisted electronics with a slightly sinister feel are original (a touch Scritti Politti, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk, Marilyn Manson?) It's experimental, political and a bit of a grower. There's a healthy sense of humour behind it all, and some tracks would work well on a compilation or soundtrack. Truly quirky - give it a try. :: ELECPHONIC: SOPHOMOREPHONIC  Sophomorephonic is the second album from enigmatic and politically satiric artist Elecphonic. The first, self-titled album was a "whimsically Mercurial collection of nine tracks simmered and steeped in a stew of electronica", and Sophomorephonic continues this quirky, bass-driven pedigree with eight well-polished and musically adept tracks. Released on Daniel Gannaway's Truly Independent label, Sophomorephonic is similarly incisive in it's commentary on social mores and the many-faceted maladies of consumerism, greed and hypocrisy. The sharp-edged - though inherently humorous - lyrical content makes Sophomorephonic endearingly listenable, and feeds the wryly opinionated tradition of Elecphonic's previous release. A stand-out track is Coca Sek, a beautiful, ditty-like offering with a truly addictive hook, rhythm and chorus. Coca Sek rues the innate contradiction of the US 'war' on coca leaf in South America while at the same time providing the world's single largest market for cocaine. "Chewing leaf sprayed with Roundup... Can't kill the leaf, can't kill the drug. The world loves the white lady..." The vocal treatment is pure Elecphonic, with a rolling, rocking, thumping chorus that begs to be played loud - especially the song plays out. Starbuck is another fun, bumping little track which hangs in the memory long after it's past. "Good hunting Starbuck, the best pilot in the colonial fleet. She'll kick the Cylons' ass. You're the one for me girl. She'll kick the Cylons' ass..." Long live Battlestar Galactica. Like Elecphonic, Sophomorephonic is quirky and beautifully crafted, and can be enjoyed on a variety of levels. Thematically, it's the lyrical adeptness that once again holds the ear, with the nuanced melodies providing a stylish riposte. At it's heart, Sophomorephonic - like Elecphonic before it - is an infectious and original exercise in musical creationism. As an artistic endeavour, Elecphonic has established itself as a musically competent producer, and an engaging and varied alternative to homogenised, populist electronica. :: Review - NZ Musician Magazine ELECPHONIC: Sophomorephonic 2007 By Ania Glowacz The follow up to the act's self-titled debut, 'Sophomorephonic' follows on in a musically and lyrically similar vein. It's an acquired taste, but not one without merit. 'Interesting' (read off-beat) topics are espoused and commented on - the Mile High Club, coca leaf production, country folk moving to the cities, tanning, 'coming out' to your wife... Safe to say this isn't really pop! Elecphonic employ vintage synth sounds and masked, heavily treated vocals. The main vocals on most tracks are a deep, spoken male voice, slowed down and stretched, whilst the backing vocals are pitched higher into a more female-sounding palette. It's unusual as well as difficult to describe! Elecphonic aims to be elusive, so I can' tell you who's behind these creations. The music plods and weaves and squelches it's way around the lyrics, including one track which is essentially a cake recipe... The words are hard to pick up and demand concentration or a read of the lyric sheet. If you have the patience, this is 'quirky' and different electronica with a sardonic and humourous edge.
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