Transportation + Communication = Love, Figurine's debut CD, was originally released in 1998 on California's Blackbean & Placenta Records. The trio of David Figurine, James Figurine, and Meredith Figurine, inspired by the likes of Aphex Twin and Depeche Mode, set out to produce a new kind of synth-based indie pop. Creating all the music on computer, the trio collaborated via e-mail, as the group was scattered across the United States. The disc begins with "I Wait for You (By the Telephone)," on which Meredith and James alternate on vocals over telephone sounds, creating an upbeat and intriguing opener. Highlights include the computerized frenzy on the somber "An Electronic Address," the Kraftwerk-inspired "Batteries (Can't Help Me Now)," and the playful "My First UFO." The droning dance beats of "Eurodiscoteque," the restrained excitement of "New Millenium Song," and a live recording of "You" bring the disc to a near end. Blackbean & Placenta reissued the disc in August 2002. The reissue included tracks ("Zero Degrees" and "Our Song") from the group's 1999 EP on Japan's Motorway Records. The disc includes one unlisted bonus track. Transportation + Communication = Love is an unabashedly shameless attempt to revitalize the best of synthesizer-based, post-new wave experiments in the underground indie pop community. It succeeded in creating a startling amount of buzz and excitement around the globe for its inventive and uncompromising tones.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer