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Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Scanner Pop MP3s

Singular electronic-music figures are joining bands, writing songs and even going on tour. Prefuse73, aka Scott Herren, has recorded Brazilianate pop music with Catalan singer Eva Puyuelo Muns, under the collective name Savath & Savalas. Oval’s Markus Popp made good on his last name by doing a record with a proper vocalist, Eriko Toyoda, under the name So. And now Robin Rimbaud, known as Scanner due to his early penchant for funneling scanned conversation into his atmospheric music, has joined a quartet, Githead, in which he is not the only known entity. The band teams him with Wire’s Colin Newman and Minimal Compact’s Malka Spigel and Max Franken. Together they make music ripe for a moment in which post-punk is having a comeback and various Wire contemporaries are regrouping. Githead’s website, githead.co.uk, features several downloadable examples of exactly the sort of spartan pop you’d expect from Rimbaud’s fellow players, if not much of what one associates with Rimbaud himself. Still, “To Have and to Hold” (MP3) opens with a moody bit of reverberance that suggests the Cure and the Police, as does the extended fade on “Option Paralysis” (MP3). Electronica it ain’t, but any fan of Scanner’s will benefit from getting a broader sense of where his head’s at … and, heard in the context of the likes of Herren and Popp’s vocal projects, where electronic music may be headed.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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