Monday, January 28, 2008

what I like about electrelane

Late, but not too late, I own "No Shouts, No Calls", the fourth and, sadly, last (at least for now) Electrelane long-player. One thing about Electrelane is how remarkably closely, at this distance in time, they echo what was best about the whole post-punk idea. The sense of four people in a room making music for the sake of making music. The absence of the corporate. The urgency; the directness; the sense of "I can do that".

Another thing about Electrelane is the organic nature of their recorded sound. There is a real feeling that what you are listening to is four people in a room. Few, if any, instances of electrickery are involved. The drummer accurately conveys the sound of someone in the back of the room hitting a drum kit. Presumably because that is what she was doing. The guitars sound like guitars. It is as clean as it needs to be, and when it doesn't need to be it isn't. There is a palpable depth of field. In other words, it sounds more like Steve Albini or Jim O'Rourke than John McEntire. (Well, duh; their earlier albums were produced by Albini, as I am now reminded.)

And, of course, the most important thing about listening to Electrelane is the thrill; a thrill of the specific kind that vanished around 1991, the last moment in time when the world could have conceivably annointed the Cannanes as its saviour, and embraced Seattle instead. [Internal inconsistency alert: the Seattle thing may well have been in large part the catalyst for Steve Albini's prominence as a producer. Of course, it also facilitated Kim and Thurston's god-like status, which just goes to show that it's an ill wind etc.]