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Sometimes the cover art on a record captures the mood of the musical proceedings perfectly. Back photo: plaid bermudas and glow-in-the-dark argyle socks looming over a pair florescent multi-colored bowling shoes, a pair of spindly legs spanning the dark space between plaid pants and glowing footware. And beside these legs, as if in orbit, a luminescent rust-colored bowling ball that looks like a plasticene simulation of one of Jupiter's big moons. Turn the CD case over and see neon swirls, the ghosts of the trails of nano-tech fireflies, the dark disc of a cymbal looming like a flying saucer, a levitating keyboard.
Party w/ Techno is the latest from Louie Records, drummer Dave Storrs' labor of love, and it is a 180 degree turnaround from what we've come to expect from the label (or is it?). Several recent accoustic offerings from Louie have had two things in common: a very organic, Zen-like, spontaneously composed unfolding of sounds, and Dave Storrs on percussion. In seeming opposition stands Party w/ Techno, a sequenced set with electronic beeps and bimps and sizzles and electron bubblings, ephemeral florescent textures, a fabric woven with live wires.
And techno percussion.
So Techno Lodge is a new Louie artist...?
But listen to the rhythms. You have to believe that "Techno" is the electronical alter ego of Dave Storrs, immersing himself in the zip and zap and switched-on ebullience of the sequences.
Storrs seems something of a Mingus-onian (or maybe Blakey-esque) figure at the helm, a guy who brings different configuations of musical talent together for recorded events of sonic spontaneity. Party w/ Techno has shadings of the sounds of familiar artists: Dave Leslie's accordion on "Blow it Out"; Steve Willis's guitar on "Out in Lot". And Dave Storrs' intricate percussion thoughout.
Perhaps Party w/ Techno is not really 180 degrees away from other Louie discs. An early CD on the label, the marvelous Waxing the Slide, had Storrs doing the sequencing, with various artists blowing accoustic over his electric sounds... a marriage of organic and techno.
So Techno Lodge has to be Storrs, cutting loose, electronically. A blackout bowling, electronic minature golf, shining lights of Vegas set of sounds. A strangely addictive listen, and great for driving on the open road.