Alex Tronic is the nom de plume of Paul Croan, a musician who works out of Edinburgh, Scotland. His latest release is the Electricals EP - a recording which contains some of the finest electronic music I have heard in some time. A four-track, 17-minute EP may not seem to be something worthy of a lengthy discussion - but this one is.
Much like the AFX release Analogue Bubblebath, way back in 1994, this is an EP that is so creative as to nearly qualify as a full album’s worth of material. To be honest, one attraction for me is the relative obscurity of the release (at least here in the U.S.) Putting that somewhat personal bias aside though, the Electricals EP is simply wonderful music.
The four tracks the EP contains are “Panoramic” (“Walking Dream Mix“), “Send Me Five Dollars” which is presented in both the (“Hillside Mix“), and (“Five Dollar Remix”) versions, and “Sunshine Lover” (“Lounge Mix“).
As a States-side dweller, I have always had trouble with remixes, simply because I got suckered into buying 12” singles back in the eighties, when the “remixes” added up to basically nothing at all. Bite me, Def Jam.
This is why I brought up the Richard James release - it was the first time I heard music that was truly re-done, and qualified as genuinely different at all. This is the effect the Electricals EP had upon me. The 17-minutes of Alex Tronic’s Electrical EP is filled with music which is difficult to describe. It is not ambient, and it is certainly not “dance.” It falls somewhere (in a wonderful) place between the two genres.
Although this comparison may not meet with Mr. Croan’s approval (in fact it may piss him off royally), the Electricals EP reminds me (in spirit) of the early Air recordings collected on Premiers Symptomes. There is a beauty to this type of music which does not readily fall into any of the general “electronic music” categories - which makes it all the more enticing for me.
The Electricals EP is not really “dance” music per se, nor is it ambient. But it exists in a zone which I find indescribably wonderful. If any of the references I have previously offered make any sense to you, then by all means - check out Alex Tronic.
This is “electronic” music which makes the term itself seem almost irrelevant. Anyone who has ever understood the beauty of Air’s “Modular Mix” will know exactly what I am talking about. For those curious about some of the most “friendly” (yet ignored) current electronic music available - the Electricals EP is a very welcoming place to begin.
As a small Scottish label, you may not find this release easily. A click to visit the Alex Tronics Records site would be a good place to start.