Sunday, December 2, 2007

Free the Robots - 2007



If you are one of those people who love everything about music -- experimental, jazz, electronica, downtempo, bossanova, hip hop, soul, rock, psychedelic and more -- Free the Robots may just be your new favorite indie band.

Few bands do panoramic electronic soundscapes as these guys do, scratched with ethereal voices and eerie noises. More ordinary instruments are included, but add to the strange atmosphere rather than grounding it -- razor-sharp percussion, mellow organ, and subtle, swelling strings.

Their sound is difficult to define, experimental jazz/hip hop smoothed with techno groves that would make you think of Aphex Twin or Kraftwork, then covered with a thin membrane of Pink Floyd. My favorite song was Moonchild Revisited, a mellow, dreamy, surreal and subliminal offering accompanied by vocals that reminded me strongly of Thom Yorke. The classic jazz piano in JazzHOLE Revisited had me tapping my feet and kept conjuring images of 1940's gangsters in bright yellow zoot suits.

I played Free the Robots for other members of the iMP staff. Some loved it. Some didn't get it. But there's one undeniable thing -- these chilly, eerie songs are marvelously complex. In a musical world where anything that has a guitar can be called "rock," it's difficult to find music that is really creative. It's even harder to find a band that is willing to take risks, and expand their art. But those things can be found in Free the Robots. Whether listeners think it's a wild success or a pretentious failure, it has to be admitted that it takes guts to try out something this different.
by: FenderGirl (imp.com)