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Do The Underwater Shuffle

Live Human
Elefish Jellyphant

Sort of like label-mates Red Snapper, Live Human takes an element of live music and jacks it into an electronic music structure, creating something entirely new in the process. Unlike Red Snapper, though, their influences run the gamut a little more and they fall into sort of a post-electronic category with influences that run the gamut from hip-hop and turntablism to ambient electronica and fusion jazz. With three different members in the group, they've got one guy manning percussion, one plucking the upright bass (and sometimes a plain-old one), and a DJ laying down some scratching and wacky samples.

Really, from having read the above description, you might already have a decent idea of at least some of the sounds that the group makes over the course of their 16 song, 60 minute effort. While the disc opens up with nothing more than 40 seconds of echoed-out turntable blippage, the album takes off soon thereafter with, "Lesson #7." With some live-sounding drum and a flourish of scratching, the track leaps into action before some seriously swaggering upright bass plunks in and pulls the track together. I already mentioned Red Snapper above, but the very next track on the disc "2AM" is strikingly similar to the song "Crease" (replace the horns with scratching) from their album Making Bones.

Of course, the group also knows how to slow things down with some atmospherics, and that's just what they do with tracks like "Lost World." With very minimal percussion and a bassline that snakes through the track like it came out of the theme from a 70s action drama, even the heavy scratching is left behind for a more subtle blend of needlework. Not letting the roll stop, the group kicks things up to a mid-tempo groove on "Quick Eleven" before dropping off again into the spooky, "Eggroll Suite."

A couple of the longer tracks like "Everything Becomes Jellyfish" and "2AM" kind of run out of steam during points, but for the most part the group keeps things clean, quick and fun. "Floppy Pockets" turns into a scratch-happy bastard child of lounge, while "Lagoona Hop" busts a minute and a half of strutting cut-up and twangy upright bass. As mentioned above, the group really doesn't fall into any particular genre, while managing to dabble in many. It's improv-style, cut-up, post-electronic pastiche, but I like it.

Rating: 7.5