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Akron/Family
ATL2ELP
Family Tree Records

Laid-back, far-off/far-out, chill-psychedelic improv unit Akron/Family are back, and they put out this ATL2ELP as a crowd-funder for their new studio album Sub Verses, to be released on April 30th (or April 29th in Europe).

ATL2ELP, which is short for Atlanta to El Paso, is a handmade (stamped by the band), limited edition (1,000 copies) live double cd. Side 'ATL' was recorded at the Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA, January 14th 2012, while side 'ELP' was record at the Sonic Ranch (live in studio?) in El Paso, Texas later in 2012. Dana Janssen, Seth Olinsky and Miles Seaton -- vocalist/drummer, vocalist/guitarist, and vocalist/bassist, respectively -- are quite a creative force, and they create fascinating and colourful music indeed. Their music mirror the structure of the band: free-floating, free-spirited, mind-expanding. Imagine Animal Collective mashed with Neutral Milk Hotel. However, this live set is maybe not the greatest proof if you're not a dedicate fan, or if you weren't at the show. The sound quality isn't too good (but it doesn't really matter), and I prefer and recommend the studio versions in-stead. Yet, it's good to hear some of their great songs, such as "Island", "River", and "Silly Bears". And, being present at a concert must really be something, a happening (just check out the two monstrous raids, "Another Sky" and "Everyone Is Guilty", both clocking in at some 12 minutes), and I guess (it seems by the sound and atmosphere) that the audience had a great time, at the time. And, could there be a more fitting closing track to a jolly party than "Silly Bears"?

ATL holds 11 tracks, most of them taken from the band's brilliant 2010 album Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT, such as the aforementioned "Island" and "Silly Bears", "A AAA O A WAY", "So It Goes", and a couple more. The other three songs ("Everyone Is Guilty" and "River", plus "Gravelly Mountains of the Moon") are taken from Set' em Wild, Set' em Free (2009). ELP holds 2 experimental tracks simply entitled "XIII" and "XXIII". They make a 40 minute long disc, and, well, yes... Experimental with a capital E is the right key-word. Slow-floating, low-voiced noise, like a space drone mission. File under audio sci-fi. It's a tough job to listen through the two tracks, and I doubt I will do so more than once.

Like I said, ATL2ELP was meant to be a crowd-funder. Support your local rock act! Then start looking forward to the end of April. Myself I can't wait. April 29th is even my birthday!

Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Akron/Family articles/reviews: Sub Verses, Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT.

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