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23.3.05

Trans Am
Liberation




The future is now, and it has its own soundtrack. The human race was ready for a dose of electronic music long before the computer age, as shown through seventies Kraftwerkian themes of computer takeover in the HAL sense. Krautrock bands, among others, have seen this evolution as a wicked manipulation of the mind, where the human has become the new machine.

After several years of hibernation, post rock bands circa 1994 threw all sorts of hi-tech interpretations into the ambiguous genre. Alongside bands like Fischerspooner and Tortoise, D.C. trio Trans Am usually keeps more of a traditional Krautrock sound in their art, as proven on albums Surveillance and Futureworld. The band gorges on luscious eighties beats and vocals with Red Line and T.A., the band's twin pop records.

Trans Am recalls the robot-friendly, futuristic doom of previous efforts on Liberation, their election year release, where the band uses the sounds of Washington D.C, talking heads, hummers and all, to depict the blue pill's sense of horror on the war on terror.

Tracks "Total Information Awareness" and "Idea Machine" use sweeping guitar riffs alongside drone-like vocals, throwing in a combination of classic Kraut and eighties synth. The band manipulates a sound clip of G-Dub on "Uninvited Guest," announcing propaganda like "The Iraqi people love their oppressors" to a cheering audience. "Spike in Chatter" uses an Al Jazeera broadcast for the same purpose, though highly inaudible over Trans Am's powerful instrumentals, deeming any voiceovers expendable.

Once just another political album prior to the election, Liberation heard in its aftermath sounds more like a haunting foreshadowing of the next four years. HAL's definitely got his red eye on US.


Crystal at 3/23/2005 08:08:00 PM

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