"Somewhere Beyond The Sea"
(Cheap Recordings)

This ten track cassette offering struck me as nothing unusual as I, perhaps naively, popped it into my deck. Boy, was I in for a shock. This two- piece knows not a major chord. Mix that with drum machine, piano, clarinet, zither and pretty much anything else they could harness including field recordings and you begin to navigate the landscape here. This is not The Beach Boys...or Fun more like The Postal Service does the soundtrack for Supernatural. Now you see don't you? Don't come here for sympathy or consolation...

All that said, this is great stuff. The group avoids a major pitfall of electronica by making brief statements and moving on. You won't find lingering synth explorations or even solos for that matter. But don't be mistaken. This is hardly synth-pop. Cheap Imitation isn't that at all. This album is a fine document of a solemn perspective. Maybe one of the best overall tapes of the year. Hell, maybe one of the best albums of the year.

-- Bob Zilli