By Joanna Davila
Soul infused, groove laden tracks make up Galactic’s 45 minute fourth album, appropriately called Ruckus; Galactic’s slow beat chill music is causing a stir all over the states. Originally from N’awlins, this funk band is all about reinventing themselves.
Sax player Ben Ellman says, “The band’s original name was Galactic Prophylactic, but the prophylactic just got dropped.” On a kick for some reinvention, Galactic used hip-hop producer Dan “the Automator” to help them fuse their older sounds with their recent blues. The supersonic tracks have somewhat of a futuristic feel, enhanced by the soulful sounds of lead vocalist Theryl DeClouet; Galactic’s fourth attempt is a hit or miss.
Either way, the disc is spicy, taking listeners through Cajun country with tracks like “Never Called You Crazy” and “The Beast.” Galactic even manages to throw out an almost mystical, sci-fi feel with the beginning bars of Track 3, “The Moil.”
However, aside from being regional music for those looking for some sound advice, this jam New Orleans band can make you feel the true heart of Bayou Blues. Ellman says, “I feel lucky that we are a band that can see the road behind us and the road ahead of us, look at the people we’re starting to work with, and the way we’re putting together our live shows. It’s exciting. And it’s definitely not stagnant, that’s the most important thing.” Look for more off-played hip-hop funk from Galactic.
Joanna Davila can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
By Ross Whitsett
Air’s last outing gave us 10000 Hz Legend, a nocturnal, detached drug able to set your mind into complete numbness. Throw in Beck guest singer on a couple of tracks and you had the best summer album of that year, which saw the release of REM’s Reveal and the Strokes’ Modern Age EP. Now we find the duo back in action and after the undeserved disappointment of 10000 HZ, they have ended up compromising and attempting to please everyone but themselves. With Talkie Walkie we are given a Nigel Godrich production, the man who made Radiohead sound so crisp, ruined Pavement with Terror Twilight, and assisted Beck to make that god-awful Sea Change album. Talkie is a glossed over, polished album with very orchestral undertones, which luckily works for Air more than it did for any of the aforementioned artists.
The pair takes the listener through a soothing, hypnotic trip that may seem a bit restrained at times, but the comfort of their light voices makes it so you don’t care. Starting with “Venus,” a very sparse piano accompaniment that gets right to the point of the album – romance – as they sing, “You could be from Venus, I could be from Mars, We would be together, lovers forever.” The first single, “Cherry Blossom Girl,” gives off an eerie feel with the static synthesizers working off an acoustic guitar, as the chorus asks, “Tell me why can’t this be true.” The next few tracks are trademark Air; “Run” recalls Moon Safari with its space extension of sound while “Universal Traveler,” “Mike Mills,” and “Surfing on a Rocket” are clearly 10000 HZ influenced, though with a more precise and produced feel; however, they are just as ethereal. Then we are given some matter of fact songs: “Another Day” which preaches, “You relive it anyway,” “Alpha Beta Gaga,” a soundscape based around a simple whistle, and “Biological” that sounds like when Mario swims underwater. The capper is “Alone in Kyoto,” a minimalist electric piece that is very delightful and like a brisk stroll in the springtime, though as enjoyable as that might be, it sounds a bit monotonous for five minutes in your stereo.
Talkie Walkie ends up being a soothing ambient feel, something to listen to while relaxing at home and maybe not necessarily paying much attention to the music. It’s not exactly an attention grabber but it’s fairly hypnotic if you listen to it on headphones, with “Alone in Kyoto” summing it up perfectly, easing the listener out with waves slowly crashing on a distant shore.
Ross Whitsett can be contacted at email@example.com.