Filed by Casey Phillips
INFRADIG. "Ecstatic Everywhere." Harmonized Records.
A lot of bands say their music doesn't fit in a genre, but Scenic City's electronic experimentalists, Infradig, seem almost apologetic about it.
"You don't feel like you're listening to electronic music -- but you sort of do," drummer Joshua Caleb Green said, laughing. "I think, finally, what we've come to is that (our music) is electronic, and it has an electronic feel to it overall, but it is a lot more than that."
Pity the reviewer forced to attempt pegging them in a single -- even a pair -- of genres. Listening to the stylistic diversity of "Ecstatic Everywhere," it would probably be easier to coerce a heavily caffeinated child to go to bed.
Are they trance? Jazz-funk? Trip-hop? Funktronica? Using "Ecstatic" as a measuring stick, the answer is all and none.
Joshua Caleb Green (drums), Carl Cadwell (keys/sampler), Dave Kaufman (bass) and Bill Robinson (guitar) have crafted a heavily nuanced blend of electronic sampling with real instrumentation, creating a groove borne from a myriad styles.
Each track stands on its own legs, inviting listeners in without making a hackneyed attempt at connecting it with the next song. As a result of this insulation, "Ecstatic," is more like a collection of short stories than a musical epic, though no less enjoyable for being so.
Some of the 13 tracks, like "L7 B" and "Splutter," are fairly uniform electronic treatments of funk or jazz. Others -- like the carney music of "Never Enough Time (Alt)" or "Gasp," with bent notes that sound like dolphin calls laid atop the theme for a space documentary -- aren't as easy to define.
"Ecstatic" is an evocative journey that almost defiantly avoids classification. And that, Green said, was entirely the point.
"(With "Ecstatic"), you don't feel like you're listening to electronic music -- but you sort of do," he said, laughing. "I think you can categorize most any kind of music, but I think ours, more than ever, has found its own voice and is pretty unique now."
The album isn't perfection incarnate, however. A particularly jarring bit of -- apparently intentional -- coughing, humming and throat clearing during "Lani Har" pops what was an otherwise hypnotic musical lullaby.
All in all, however, those seeking a baker's dozen of tracks comprising a highly enjoyable, genre-spanning musical journey would do well to take a look at "Ecstatic" when it's released Sept. 22.
E-mail Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org