June 2013

The Elektrik Karousel by The Focus Group


Apparently at least one person cancelled their subscription to Shindig! after last issue's coverage of Broadcast and the Ghost Box label proved too esoteric for their tastes. And if you're similarly inclined, please look away now because The Elektrik Karousel by erstwhile Broadcast collaborator Julian House, under his Focus Group moniker, takes Broadcast's experimental streak and pushes it to even more obtuse extremes. The Elektric Karousel consists of 29 mostly instrumental tracks (the shortest clocking in at just 16 seconds) of waltzing melancholia, phased psychedelia and baroque electronica. By turns haunting, hypnotic, beguiling and startling, it conjures up dim memories of nightmarish Eastern European cartoons melded to Delia Derbyshire's experiments and the music box themes to old kids' shows like Picture Box and The Magic Roundabout. It's not always an easy listen but if you give yourself over to its ghostly rhythms, it's a richly rewarding one.

Thomas Patterson