Truckasauras, "Eight Nine Reamp" (self-released)
Seattle trio Truckasauras have returned with their first new album in six years, a self-titled deviation from their trademark 8-bit flamboyancy into a heady and oft-danceable excursion into modular synthesis. Mostly recorded in an isolated cabin on the Washington coast over the winter, Truckasauras features some of the group's wildest forays into beatmaking while maintaining their predilection for wonky textures and timbres. It's a brilliant example of skilled, hands-on tinkering in the service of fried-circuitry jamming and contemplative groove science.
It's tough to pick a favorite from the album's 11 tracks, but for now I'm going with "Eight Nine Reamp." ("Six Oh Six Major" is a close runner-up. Listen to the whole LP here.) With its lysergic tonalities, "Eight Nine Reamp" recalls the experimental techno of the early '90s from Detroit and Berlin, albeit without the swift, metronomic 4/4 beats. Truck—Ryan Trudell, Adam Swan, and Tyler Swan—are less concerned with keeping a dance floor thrumming and more interested in triggering strobing, fluorescent hallucinations. While past Truck music occasionally veered toward video-game-soundtrack parody, "Eight Nine Ramp" is pure synthetic psychedelia. This might be my favorite Truckasauras cut in a catalog loaded with gems.
Truckasauras perform with IQU, John Atkins & Plan B, Select Level, and DJ J-Justice Friday, May 3 at Crocodile; this is a benefit show for Josh Warren (Satisfact, FCS North), who is battling colon cancer.