Japancakes - Down the Elements

(DRL189: 708527018927)
Release date: 05/16/2000
Genre: Electronic, Rock

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Eric Berg's heady instrumental visions maintain something of an unintentional defiance that suggests that the 21st century technology is still a far-off proposition. By focusing on cello strains, droning bass and guitar lines, and insistently groovy acoustic drum patterns, it appears that he and his other Athens, GA, cohorts don't recognize the cut-and-paste, sample-centric age that most rock is now generated in. This EP, which is sandwiched between two larger efforts of equally hypnotic textures, creates moods that are far more demanding of a listener's attention than much of the ambient music produced by the synthesists the world over. The wonderfully infectious riff that propels "A.W. Sonic" somehow manages to sustain its drawing power for the majority of the track's 11-minute lifespan. "Sputnik" and the title track are the disc's straight-ahead electronic fare, but they are so skillfully arranged it's as if they'd been secretly peering in the Orb's laboratory for years. As a lower cost introduction to what Berg has begun to achieve from an experimental rock concept gone right (unlike most., Down the Elements is immensely satisfying.  -- ALL MUSIC GUIDE.  Originally released as an EP by Kindercore in 2000, Down The Elements clocks in at 37:58 minutes, which makes it a full length in the real world. These recordings were made at the same time as those for If I Could See Dallas. Eclectic, mostly upbeat, instrumental explorations like Trans Am meets Tangerine Dream backed with beautiful blips and burbles sure to sooth.

1. Version 1, 2. A.W. Sonic, 3. Sputnik, 4. Down the Elements

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