Moment of Truth

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Following the trail blazed by Björk, Sigur Rós, and Múm, Vidar Gislason and Thor Grondal prove that Iceland produces some of the most unique and original music to be unleashed on the world. Gislason is a member of the country band the Funerals, has composed soundtracks, produced indie bands, and worked with a rap group, but it is with the electronic outfit Trabant that Gislason and partner Grondal take their place in the ranks of Iceland's most renowned culture-makers. Trabant may employ Sigur Rós atmospherics on the band's debut, Moment of Truth, but the group is never as melancholy or ethereal. Tracks like "Lady Elephant" groove with the electro-funk of Daft Punk, as programmed beats tick and pop over warm synthesizers. "Enter Spacebar" stutters from a low-end "krunk" that would please Dabrye to a jaunty shuffle -- something like a fantasy collaboration between Paul McCartney and El-P. Trabant's greatest strength may be their ability to combine an eclectic set of sounds and influences -- Can, Kraftwerk, P-Funk -- into an end-result that is consistent and coherent. The title track is an upbeat little theme song that sounds like Momus mixing future pop with analogue Baroque; "Bluesbreaker" is like Beck launched into outer space; and "Bahama Banana" pairs worldbeat with kooky, processed vocals and wacky surf music harmonies. Like Cornelius, Trabant demonstrates a real love of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and maybe this is what gives Moment of Truth such levity. Every track, no matter how avant-garde, out there, or experimental, is built on a base of catchy, unyielding pop grandeur.

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