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Keef Baker – “pen fifteen” – [Hymen Records]

humana   6/1/2014   A Library, CD

The music on this 2-CD release is as electrifying as the jellyfish on the cover. Hailing from the UK, Baker is adept at electronica, but he also plays a mean fretted and fretless bass, guitar, mandolin, and accordion. His vocals are almost robotic. Pen Fifteen (CD 1) features separate songs that are great (especially 2, which made me ponder what “dead end” really means) and more analog than the songs on the second CD. Light City (CD 2) is a concept album with one song flowing into the next seamlessly. Lots of electronic effects. Tracks 1 and 12 contain a robotic voice from a dystopian future declaring, “This is the voice of Light City. Welcome to your new work day. Today is high productivity day. Your state loves you” over and over until it breaks down. Very provocative.

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