Sometimes I wonder if, during all his research and experiments, Benjamin Franklin ever suspected that electricity would play such a vital role in music. Who knows, maybe Ol’ Ben strapped that key to his kite because he desperately wanted to cut loose to a wicked techno beat. Imagine if things would have advanced differently, Benjamin Franklin could have been DJ Kite Keys, spinning the best beats of the 18th century. Can you imagine the hundred dollar bill with Franklin wearing aviator sunglasses and oversized headphones? Can you see why I was never able to concentrate in History class? Electronic music is a really crowded market, which can make standing out a bit of a challenge. It seems the only way to keep the sound fresh is to meld it with other genres of music. At least, that seems to be what Ghostland Observatory founded their style on.
Codename: Rondo, due out October 26th, is the 4th full-length album from the Austin, Texas-based duo who consistently build upon the style that they’ve so carefully molded. Blending elements of funk, punk and automated voiceboxes in a vibrant electronic soup, Ghostland Observatory manages to keep their feet planted in familiar territory while still stretching to fresh, new horizons.
Photo by: Daniel Perlaky
Whether it’s the over-phasing riffs on “Glitter” that make you feel like you’re listening to a tesla coil consume a migraine, or the title track that contains an incredibly hypnotic beat while an unnamed person gives hilarious instructions to the title character (“I need you to go down to the slurpee station, yeah the one down on 33rd street, and get me a DRANK!”), I really enjoy the different vocal stylings employed by Aaron Behrens throughout this album. It feels as though the band took great care to keep EVERY aspect of this album from stagnating in ANY way. Even the lyrics are wonderfully appropriate: “The future’s like the weather baby, there ain’t no guarantees”.
The bottom line is that Codename: Rondo is a marvelously fresh and inventive electronic album that visits so many past funk and classic rock stylings, that you’d swear they kept a flux capacitor in their keyboard.
Ghostland Observatory Tour Dates:
10/06 – Anchorage, Alaska – Bear Tooth Theatre
10/07 – Anchorage, Alaska – Bear Tooth Theatre
10/09 – Honolulu, Hawaii – Pipeline Cafe
10/28 – CD RELEASE SHOW – Austin, Texas – Cedar Park Center
10/29 – Houston, Texas – Warehouse Live Ballroom
10/30 – Dallas, Texas – The Palladium Ballroom
11/03 – Tucson, Arizona – Rialto Theatre
11/04 – Los Angeles, California – Nokia Theatre
11/05 – San Diego, California – 4th and B Concert Theatre
11/06 – Santa Cruz, California – The Catalyst
11/09 – Reno, Nevada – Knitting Factory Concert House
11/11 – Portland, Oregon – Crystal Ballroom – Lola’s Room
11/12 – Seattle, Washington – Showbox SoDo
11/13 – Seattle, Washington – Showbox SoDo
11/16 – Spokane, Washington – Knitting Factory
11/17 – Boise, Idaho – Knitting Factory Concert House
11/18 – Missoula, Montana – The Wilma Theatre
11/19 – Salt Lake City, Utah – The Depot
12/10 – Millvale, Pennsylvania – Mr. Small’s Theatre
12/11 – Millvale, Pennsylvania – Mr. Small’s Theatre
12/15 – Boston, Massachusetts – Royale Nightclub
12/16 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Trocadero
12/17 – New York City, New York – Terminal 5
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