General Elektriks

Cliquety Kliqk

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Get past the cutesy overuse of the letter K in the artist name (necessitated by the desire to avoid copyright lawsuits) and album title and the first album by young Paris-based producer/remixer Herve Salters is a playful bit of electro-jazz. Closer to Fugu's mix of electronica and indie pop than either Air or Dimitri from Paris among the Euro-synth folks, General Elektriks is more interested in interesting melodies and cool keyboard sounds than floor-filling beats. The keyboard sounds, however, are uniformly cool: '70s-vintage clavinet and Fender Rhodes and '60s-style funky organ are Salters' main tools, along with the sort of obscure vintage synths that Stereolab tend to both use and name songs after. Salters uses them well, creating a nice balance between catchy tunes and neat soundscapes on songs like the rattling punk-disco commotion of "Tu M'Intriques." Only occasionally, as on the scattered, multi-part "Terms and Conditions Apply," does Salters let "hey, listen to this!" showoffery overwhelm the songs themselves. However, Salters is an indifferent singer, which makes the handful of vocal tracks pale next to the far superior instrumentals, although Lateef the Truth Speaker's smooth raps help salvage the otherwise lightweight "Take You out Tonight."

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