Emperor Penguin - Extreme Gaming
My Pal God Records

Somewhere up along the timeline from disco to techno, a bit of the soul
was lost.  The music can still pump parties, but without a lot of the
spirit.  One could say that in the seventies, music was brown, and in the
nineties, it's some sort of neon blue.  Emperor Penguin, though, is a lava
lamp melting bluish-green wax above an orangy-brown light.  The simple
explanation for their ability to launch this sort of sound is that EP
consists of, from what I understand, a synthesizer guru and a DJ, both of
whom are very talented.  It's like Emperor Penguin opened up a time capsule
of samples and sequences of the decade, which they've mixed together and
created a set of really groovy, entertaining songs.

This is their second album. The first seemed to have more emotional variance between songs, whereas this new one holds a pretty constant mood. Don't get me wrong, though -- this album is just as strong, if not stronger. On the first album, some of the songs were really hot and happening, whereas others were slower and focused more on the beauty of the sound than the rhythm. This album seems to be a lot more about rhythm.
If you still don't understand what this might sound like and want some musical comparisons, let me draw this picture: Boards of Canada meets Luke Vibert in a soul food cafe at a table next to James Brown and the Steve Miller Band. If you like the electronic music of today, but still feel something lacking, I'm sure Emperor Penguin will make you very happy. Buy both albums. I see myself listening to these discs for many, many years to come. It seems that they are timeless, unlike so much of the other electronic stuff around today.
...tim johnson...

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