Formed in Brighton in 1998, this feminist avant rock four-piece set up their own record label with backing from Sony a couple of years ago. A young band, guitarist Mia Clarke was still preparing for her A-levels during the recording of this debut album. They had already put out a couple of singles on In Denial and Fierce Panda, one of which, Film Music, turns up in re-recorded form both here and on an EP which includes remixes by Echoboy, Treva Whateva and Jagz Kooner, and is where I first heard the band. Approved by The Wire, they were written up in issue 208 and tracks by them showed up on Wiretapper 8 and Wiretapper 9 cover disc CDs.
Although they use modern production techniques and equipment, mixing with ProTools, the overall sound is quite retro because of their love of Farfisa organ and analogue instruments, and is predominantly instrumental despite the occasional vocal phrase emerging through the mix. Long Dark reminds one of nothing so much as Syd-era Pink Floyd, elsewhere the twangy surf guitar is redolent of Duane Eddy. However, their experimental approach and use of digital samplers puts them squarely in the twenty-first century. The music is energetic and enthusiastic and bursts out of the speakers in a long and inventive 65 minute rush, anchored by the Krautrock drumming from Emma Gaze and Rachel Dalley's relentless bass lines.
One can pinpoint their overall sound at this point quite accurately. Create a hyperbolic graph of the Pink Floyd's sonic soundscape from their first album onwards and extrapolate forwards and backwards. Find the point 4.7 months prior to Piper At The Gates of Dawn, and there you are. This moment is probably as fleeting in Electrelane's existence as it was in the Pink Floyd's, and will be interesting to see what twists and turns their music will take them to.
A barking dog on the opening track is subverted into a sly Stooges reference. One track, Blue Straggler, features an exquisite string section, arranged by founder member and chief musician Verity Susman. Other tracks evoke boats, carnival rides, church services and film soundtracks, all on one giddy sonic trip. This album, recorded over 4 weeks in September and October 2000, catches this ever-evolving band at a particular and special point in their uncharted trajectory
(review written 2003)
on 8 July 2001
this is the best album i have heard this year. From the first time i heard the mighty blue straggler i knew i had to get my mits on Rock It To The Moon. The album fits together atmospheric beauty with ingenuity and some amazing guitar riffs. This is an album you can play over and over and still find something different. All the songs stand out on their own but in my oppinion blue straggler, gabriel and spartakiade are works of pure genius.
Emma, Verity, Rachel and Mia are Electrelane, an experimental psycho post rock outfit formed in Brighton in 1998. On Rock It To The Moon, their first album, the band dispense their ice-cold incandescent instrumentals over eleven tracks and seventy minutes. Conscious of remaining master of their own destiny, the band set up their own record label, Let's Rock Records, very early on. The girls recently pointed, in an interview with music magazine The Wire, that, although the label is backed by a major (Sony/3MV), they are in a position to take their own decisions.
Occasionally close to the fuzzy atmospheres of Spiritualized, the foursome often put their tracks through intense, aggressive, accelerations, sending their guitar-based compositions into wild overdrive. The two opening tracks are pretty much representative of the general sound of the album. The Invisible Dog kicks off in a rather quiet manner, before the drums and guitars take control, elegantly supporting a furious outburst of farfisa. Long Dark plays equally on mixed emotions, the same farfisa taking a back seat role for a while, before breaking into George Moroder's The Chase for an instant. Other highlights include the band's first single, Film Music, as well as the Stranglers-meet-Broadcast Blue Straggler and the beautifully crafted Many Peaks. Electrelane linger in the periphery of rock without giving up their ambition for wider spaces.
Rock It To The Moon is an ambitious first album, charged in emotion and arrogance, by a band in full control of their art. Electrelane's display of attitude transpires solely through their rather mature compositions, none of which are devoid of juvenile mischief.
on 7 November 2001
After reading the other review from the Wirral I was intrigued as i had heard bits and bobs from their songs that all did sound excellent. However, when I heard the album in entirety, i was hugely dissapointed and quite frankly bored! Blue straggeler is the only passable song which has it's moments of genius but is also prolonged and ruins it!! I advise that if you are after relaxing music, don't waste your music on this...