The Synaesthetic Picture Show: Now Playing Pt 1, is the newest album by the intercontinental regime, known as ElektraGaaz. It’s an entirely instrumental effort, and whatever you envision it sounding like, you’re probably wrong. Envision is a select choice of words, as ElektraGaaz are essentially self described as being as much of a visual experience, as an audio one. In fact, their founder, Poppo Redband, claims to have a neurological disposition, that allows him to see music, as well as hear it. This entire backstory is tantamount to the music, as if you hear ElektraGaaz before knowing it, you might find yourself, quite flummoxed.
Purportedly, there are several contributing musicians that comprise the musical and visual entity, known as ElektraGaaz. The quixotic of course is Redband, himself. It can be hard to determine what aspects of ElektraGaaz are fictional or not. Honestly, it’s difficult to imagine more than composer being behind what we hear on the SPS. It’s simple and repetitive, and while it does show periodical flashes of character and personality, the record is ultimately based on a single template.
Say what you will about ElektraGaaz and the potential they hold to reach a wider audience, but they currently boast over 8,000 monthly Spotify listeners. If you scope out their social media pages, you can see that they are savvy when it comes to self promotion, and creating buzz around themselves. A lot of artists can take notes on exactly what ElektraGaaz does in order to generate intrigue for their projects. Generally speaking, there seems to be more than meets the eye, with this group. It’s possible they are some sort of experimental art project, that is the precursor to something bigger.
At 24:03, and only 6 tracks, the SPS is careful not to overtax. The album is probably best consumed, in its entirety, as any overlying narrative is more pronounced in that manner. “Cabin Fever” is one of the more up tempo pieces on the record, and stands out from the pack as a result. While “Phil Gumm’s Progress” is one of the more languid, but consistent tracks on the SPS. This song in particular, has something of a futuristic overtone to it, as it glides along, without ever going off road.
Remarkably, “The Magic Knapsack,” accounts for ¼ of the entire run length of the SPS. At 6:22, this track is easily the lengthiest on the record. It has a bit of Anime ring to it, at times. It’s certainly a victim of its own repetition , but you will find yourself bobbing your head to it, if you commit to listening past the first 60 seconds. Somehow, “The Magic Knapsack,” feels modern and retro, simultaneously.
To say ElektraGaaz has made a polarizing record, would be a misstatement. They knew fully well, what they were doing, and why they were doing it. They made sacrifices, before they even began, and they show no pretensions in embracing their own calculated madness. They succeed in making the SPS as much visual, as it is musical, even when you experience it from a strictly audio standpoint. The picture show has begun, the question is, who’s listening?
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