Thursday, July 19, 2007

Club d'Elf - Now I Understand (Accurate, 2006)

This Boston based collective draws on a wide variety of influences to form a unique sound. Jazz and electronic music are the most prevalent (think Tortoise with a heavy backbeat), but DJ turntables, world music and a kitchen sink of other sounds play a part. The band has an impish sense of humor, mixing sampled snippets of speech from children, a mock newsreel reporter, culminating in the enjoyable music backed monologue "Shadow Saw the Gods." "Vishnu Dub" adds an Indian music groove to the band's music, mixing instruments and electronics in real time. Electronics and deep bass swirl around a heavy beat on the opening "Brass Beatbox" and the band keeps the groove up throughout. This isn't just a laid back groove record however, there's a lot of variety in the music to chew on. A slower, more wistful interlude comes with the vocal feature "A Toy For a Boy" sung with a hint of sadness by Jennifer Jackson. Things get a little more ominous, but no less amusing on the organ fueled "What Would Cthulhu Do?" and the impressive "Now I Understand" where electronics, turntables and guitars reach a near symphonic crescendo. This is the kind of album that mocks any attempts to box it into some type of artificial genre. Regardless, the music to be found here is very fine and deserves to be sought out by the open eared.

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