Artist: The Electric Poet
Title: Hell Bound
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Style: electronic, experimental, acoustic
Catalog No: PICPACK172
Release Date: March 21, 2013
Possibly the second time recently I have picked a release that isn’t for everyone. Or, more to the point, will have an appeal to a limited group of listeners. But, once again, this is one of the things I like about free music: there is a range of sound experiences to explore that would likely be shunned by the mainstream media industry.
What this release does in a way you won’t find elsewhere is explore the idea of merging spoken-word and poetry-slam styles with musical settings that are minimal, rhythmic and almost post apocalyptic sounding.
And it’s a good match that is thought provoking with an in-your-face attitude, while keeping the listener slightly off-center. If there is any one complaint that can be made about this work is that the poetry-slam style can be seen as being too “hipster” for some people. There is an artifice that can come off as conceited, or condescending to the spoken word selections, if you are sensitive to to that style.
However, the music doesn’t carry the same pretension. The music on Hell Bound ranges more along the lines of early Aphex Twin (think Selected Ambient Works, not his later electronica), Steve Reich, and other minimal and ambient composers too numerous to list. Add a dash of 60’s style sound manipulation tricks (like reversing one of the guitar tracks), and you have a good idea of what the musical quality is like.
And, it’s this 60’s touch that refines and defines the ethos of The Electric Poet‘s work: it’s the Beat Generation meets contemporary minimalism. It’s intriguing. It’s evocative. It’s the kind of work that I hope this artist expands on. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and in this case they may yet lead to a way out of hell. I’ll be following along that road.