Soft Bler = Cluster + Nolens Volens + Manuel Gottsching
ElekHztro, from Orem’s Soft BleR, is an album that doesn’t show its true colors until most listeners have pushed skip on their iPods. Electronic wizard Sam Davis places a formidable road block with the first half of the album that could alienate listeners without the patience to wade through the headache-inducing minimal chord progressions and pummeling house beat. The harsh tones of album opener “Lozenge” and the mind-numbing fist-pump of “Wiggly Willy” sound much more appropriate as a live transition in a DJ mix than a seven-minute album track. With that said, the bulk of ElekHztro sounds like an apology for any discomfort caused by said tracks. The laser focused motorik beat of “Under Control” and the loose, pastoral Kosmische-inspired “Far Too Long” sound like Davis with full control over his synths and Korg DS-10 instead of buried under an avalanche of glitched-out, 8-bit tech malfunctions.