Universal Being

Elephant Fusion

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As much '70s-style funk and porn-movie fusion as it is electronica, Universal Being's Elephant Fusion is a Frankenstein-like mongrel of a record where nearly every element of every song sounds like it was nicked off someone else's album. That said, it's also one of the more enjoyable electronica releases of 1999, adding much-needed doses of both humor and soulfulness to an occasionally too-sterile genre. The playfulness is not only in the oddball song titles ("Big Spurts," "Stanley Butt Cheeks"), but also in the witty juxtapositions of incongruous instruments and tonalities, like the African-style tuned drums and harsh, wheezing bagpipe-like drones on the closing track, "Precession," and the wobbly, lazily psychedelic keyboards on the lengthy groove workout "Stanley Butt Cheeks." Classic old-school instruments prevail on most of the tracks, like the Stevie Wonder-style ARP synth bassline on "Big Spurts," the rubbery fretless bass on the narcotic "24 Elders," and the tinkly Fender Rhodes electric piano on the lazy Earth, Wind & Fire-like "Bass Cakes," giving Elephant Fusion a pleasingly organic and mellow sound akin to Air's best work.

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