Dan Friel of Parts & Labor

I've been on an electronic kick lately, no doubt bolstered by Holy Fuck's blistering set (opening for Super Furry Animals) a couple of weeks ago. And not just any electronic music, but artists who are tinkering with and creating new equipment and sounds. People not just aping Kraftwerk and Devo and Autechre, but using their electronic tinkering as inspiration for their own unique circuit-bent beat-laden explorations. If you know of some great bands like this, by all means name-drop them in the comments section, because like all of you I'm still exploring and finding things I wish I would have found sooner. Like Dan Friel. I (finally) got turned onto his band Parts & Labor last year while listening to music I hadn't heard from people's year-end best-of lists. His myspace describes his sound as "shit broke", and he says: "If you have old toy keyboards, walkie talkies, or R/C car remotes that you don't want, get in touch. I'll trade you a cd for them." The difference between Parts & Labor and this Dan Friel solo EP Sunburn (2004) that I just found is that with Parts and Labor he seems more interested in getting the electronics to work with more of a guitar-driven sound, whereas solo he seems more willing to try more outlandish things that rely on more syncopated electronic beats, but no matter the name his music usually soars and exhilarates. It's not hard to imagine the arsenal of pedals and Casio keyboards with wires sticking out all over the place and home-built gizmos and joysticks while listening to this (there's some good live footage on his site), but he's clearly not willing to let the sounds go wild - he pulls these disparate sounds together and makes rhythms out of them, trying to make them cohesive. A couple of tracks like "Death" and "Seven Sisters" have driving anthemic guitars that would fit onto a Parts & labor album, and though he's the musical voice of both acts, this solo EP has that extra bit of experimenting that is just what I've been looking for: listenable avant-garde.

The cheapest I found Sunburn for was at Tonevendor - Buy it!

No comments: