Best Local Electronica Release of the past Year - 2005
five six six five, America's Idle
The follow-up to five six six five's self-titled debut, America's Idle isn't only the best local electronica review of 2004 -- it sits solidly near the top of local releases of any genre. Expanding on its loose, bedroom laptop session feel, the height-fixated duo of Seth Brody (the short one) and James Allen (the tall one) keeps a playful mood of experimentation, digging into low-fi ambient beats and barely there atmospherics. But there's also a distant focus to these ten songs, sort of the aural equivalent of watching a smudgy shooting star flash and fade. Live drums snap against wispy digital breaks, faraway sax and flute waft over twinkling keys and acoustic guitar, and voices surface from low in the mix to murmur about "the real truth." The drama evoked by all these minimalist elements builds into a surprisingly visceral impact, track by track, until the end of the album leaves you feeling strangely fresh and free. Word is that Brody is no longer with us, having escaped (as the best ones often do) to the grittier pastures of New York City. The fact is, five six six five measures up to anything the Big Apple can dish out. Here's hoping for a musical long-distance relationship.