Elektragaaz is a fascinating musical experience created by a reclusive young Frisian composer who goes by the pseudonym Poppo Redband and a group of talented musicians mainly from the New York Metro area. Their anticipated third EP, “The Synaesthetic Picture Show Now Playing, Pt. 3,” was dropped on September 14th. It contains six tracks that I can sum up as super trippy, but in the best way. It goes from sounding electronic to cinematic, from dark and moody to unbelievably joyful. The songs stir up your thoughts and capture your imagination, transporting you within seconds of listening. That can be the beauty of songs that don’t use lyrics; the rhythms and melodies take on a life of their own and allow the listener to have a deeply personal experience inside of them.
“The Synaesthetic Picture Show Now Playing, Pt. 3” opens with “Dancing With Evil Intent,” and the title says it all. The song pulses and swells, sinister sounding piano, orchestral strings, and guitar making you feel like you’re dancing your way into danger. It would work really well for the beginning of some sort of Sci-Fi Thriller or Horror movie. However, as the last ominous note wavers away, the “Picture Show” tosses you in a whole different direction with “Santa Fe Gas & Electric.” Upbeat and jaunty, the second track on the album evokes the joy of a jig. It makes me picture a sudden cloud of birds fluttering up into the air; a burst of flapping and feathers and awe.
“Sebastian’s Apple,” the third song in, feels somewhere in the middle of a video game soundtrack and a fantasy movie. It definitely feels like it’s someone’s journey, a long walk through sunlight woods perhaps. “To Air Is Human” (points for the clever title) follows in a similar journey feel, although the rock-sounding electric guitar injected into it and the slightly frantic strings make it feel less like a jaunty stroll and more like an anxious walk down a city street at night. “Joyboy on the Beach” brings that cinematic element back in and does seem to capture that simple joy of being near the ocean. It has some interesting key/time changes near the end that give it a little more edge.
Elektragaaz closes out their third EP with “The Ghost of Ozymandias,” which almost sounds like a classic rock song, minus lyrics. It has a hypnotic dark feel to it, and the guitar is mesmerizing. It’s a great bookend with the first song, “Dancing With Evil Intent.” All the brighter songs are sandwiched between two powerful gloomier ones. All together, the six songs on “The Synaesthetic Picture Show Now Playing, Pt. 3” will take you away to different worlds, and allow your mind to wander and expand. Poppo Redband, the band’s composer, has a video game idea for the group where they are a gang of superhero type figures with musical weapons of mass destruction. He clearly infuses his highly interesting music with his gigantic imagination and endless creativity. So throw on “The Synaesthetic Picture Show Now Playing, Pt. 3,” close your eyes, and let yourself go on the trip.