Stream It: Electric Electric – How the French Do Electro Math Rock

Imagine a million little fingers putting together a large watch, all the gears cranking, clock arms ticking and busy minds thinking away. There is a complexity to Electric Electric’s compositions that mirrors this image, and the name of their latest album, Discipline, seems to reflect just how practiced the group has to be to pull them off. The album conjures images of a Metropolis-like world based on regulation, order and societal obedience, and illustrates what that world might look like when etched in musical notation. >Click play below to hear the full album.
Electric Electric is a french three-piece rock outfit with influences ranging from electronica and post-punk to math and noise rock. Their latest full-length release is heavily based on guitar loops and other cyclic instrumentation, with a dense percussive underbelly rattling beneath. While the music relies on systematic movements and repetition, it still manages to feel chaotic and even primal.
“La Centrale,” the second track on Discipline, introduces an eery, robotic vocal surrounded by synth and guitar riffs that are perfectly placed with machine-like precision. There are many other areas throughout the LP that actually sound like working machinery, and the band’s use of sound seems to explore themes on modernity and industrialization, similar to album’s like Radiohead’s Ok Computer and Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s F♯ A♯ ∞ (F-Sharp A-Sharp Infinity) – but there are strong differences.
First off, Discipline is more esoteric than Ok Computer, and secondly it is more partial to the mechanical than F♯ A♯ ∞. Songs like “Pornographic Arithmetic” and “xx2” are thickly layered and packed with recurring riffs that start to drill into the head. If these are indeed supposed to resemble the sounds of humanoids and machines at work, then Electric Electric nailed it, and in a very interesting way.
At times the music is so chaotic, yet so precisely played out, that one might want to see how it’s performed. For those who are curious, to the right is a video of an Electric Electric song (not off their recent LP) that showcases the band’s music in a live environment. >>>>Electric Electric is Eric Bentz, Vincent Redel and Vincent Robert. The band was created in 2005 and has played shows around France and Europe. They have also played SXSW (2010) and Pop Montreal (2011).