• Electric Company - Slow Food

    Reviewed by Tim diGravina (all music guide)

    Electric Company - Slow Food

    Like its predecessors, Slow Food is an album of flanged tones, rampant clicks & cuts, and kitchen sink effects. The demo Brad Laner submitted to Planet Mu emerges here with very few changes. Like experimental ambient peers Oval, Pan Sonic, and Pole, Laner fuels his music via glitches and distortions, foregoing traditional arrangements and more mathematical compositions. Slow Food works best when Laner tosses gentle melodies into the general sonic debris, as on "I'm in a Mazda," which almost seems to sample the shimmering shoegazer dynamics of Laner's old band, Medicine. Laner stumbles a bit in a few extended passages when he abandons the underbelly of fragile notes for somewhat obvious noise-mongering junglism or aimless, bubbly effects. Closer in feel to the lo-fi, all-over-the-map musings of Cex than the innovative explorations of genre front-runners like musical madman Venetian Snares, tone poem designers Mum, or master arranger Mike Paradinas, Laner's music seems crafted under a hit-or-miss modus operandi. The production here feels perhaps more accidental than some listeners will appreciate, though it's abundantly clear that a great deal of planning and tweaking went into each song. While Laner might not match the intensity or genius of the artists who inspired his transition to electronic music, Slow Food is still frequently quite beautiful and compelling.

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