Electronic music has become, over its short life time, a broad genre with as much contention over its boundaries as any other. Just because some music was made (primarily) synthetically, doesn't make it 'Dance', and Dance music doesn't have to be made electronically. Bands like LCD Soundsystem and artists like Flying Lotus push these boundaries to produce exciting results.

James Pants, Singleton by birth, from Austin, TX is solo artist who pulls at all the threads of the electronic web. A full band sound with obvious synth lines, programming and samples all add up to the eclectic sound of Pants' eponymous new album.. It strikes me as similar to Flying Lotus in attitude and intention, if not actually having that much in common in their sound; though apparently Mr Ellison is a big fan.

Touches of light synthesiser drape over firm, but on-aggressive beats, throughout. Sometimes you get the feel of The Cure, from the rhythm section where as the melody and vocals are much harder to pin down. The distorted bass of 'Screams Of Passion' sound modern and contemporary but the vocals could be from any number of Post-Punk bands, where as 'Kathleen' feels like a funked up Flaming Lips track, and 'Alone' just can't make its mind up, though the sax couldn't be more 80s if it tried.

This album feels a little but like a mixtape made by someone with great taste and a huge knowledge of music. It doesn't quite fit together into a genre or cohesive mood or theme, but if you just ignore that then the album as a whole is a great listen. Out of context you'd never believe it was one person's work; Caribou's tight knit 'Swim' it is not.

That said, I think the fact that James Pants is a multi-instrumental, multi-talented solo artist working in this space of (semi-)electronic music allows him so much freedom that there is nothing him from putting a pop beat under vocal so distorted, a cryptographer couldn't decipher them. In a (democratic) band you all collaborate and work together to polish the ideas into a final product; some ideas will fall be the wayside and some will not bare any resemblance to how they started, but a solo artist only has themselves to answer to. This let's, in the last few years especially, has produced some very interesting albums, and this one from Pants is definitely one of them.

It's not an intense aural experience that will leave you wanting to have it on loop for ten years, nor is it dull. It's a collection of 14 tracks, and about 4 million ideas all brought together into a playlist. As the concept of an album, an LP, dies with the progression of digital downloading, I reckon we'll see more albums where the songs stand alone, and 'shuffle' won't detract from the content, and if this is a benchmark of things to come then, then roll on progress.

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