Admittedly, I’ve long equated electronic music to nothing more than the muffled hip hop beats pulsating out of rusted Sunfires in a high school parking lot. But Elephant Skeletons’ latest EP ‘The Traveller Pt. 1’ has proven to me that this notion was ill informed and limited. My own inexperienced musical palette and blatant disregard for a whole genre of music left me with the taste of embarrassment, but with the forgiving overtones of fresh discovery.
Clifford Doucette is the sole controller behind the massive sound produced through his keyboard, a mass of circuits, a pad, and his perversely sexy sax. With this deceptively complex set up, he builds layers upon layers of spacey, exotic sounds and profusely catchy dance beats amidst an incredible laser light show that both lulls you into a trance and moves your body in mysterious ways.
With that said, ‘Traveller’ is nothing short of awe inspiring. Two preeminent themes run throughout the five tracks: sitar and sax sounds that harkens back to ancient Middle Eastern civilizations, and expertly crafted, fast-moving futuristic textures. The opening track ‘Boomerang’ blends exotic sitar sounds with a blast of energy that knocks you off your feet. It’s big. It’s pulsating, mysterious, an ancient snake charming ritual turned dance rave.
Tracks like ‘Hg’ and ‘Calm in the Clouds’ transport through time to yet another unknown world, riding through space on the sound of solar flares while still being grounded in hard driving dance beats. The last track on the EP, ‘Shade’ fuses the tribal and an alluring clarinet with the equally freaky, far out sounds of outer space.
The EP, made up of five tracks is just the first half of what is to come. Doucette is eager to release the rest. “It can take six to eight months or more to get vinyl pressed and I didn’t want to wait that long to share new music,” he says. The complete album will consist of a full thirteen tracks and will be released on vinyl in late 2016, and will include ‘Pt. I’ as the A-side.
Whether you’re familiar with electronica, or like me, you are a presumptuous asshole, Elephant Skeletons is not background music. Blast it through the subwoofers that cost more than your shitty burgundy Sunfire, listen while you’re cooking breakfast, throw it on during pre-drinks before you hit the town. You may find it weird, it may not win an everlasting spot in your heart, but it’s still impossible to ignore.
For more information visit Elephant Skeletons.
Photo: Elephant Skeleton’s rocking the Silent Disco at FollyFest 2015 by Kelsey Cassidy.