Sometime you get an idea about a band without even taking the time to find out what theyíre really about. That happened to me with Wellingtonís Urbantramper Ė a band thatís been around town for a while, yet a band that I hadnít checked out because I had some weird preconceived idea about what I expected them to sound like. Where this came from I have no idea, but the opportunity to hear their new album Internet Freedom Is Love was a chance to right those wrongs.
And man, was I blown away by what I heard. The band seem to move in indie circles, but to describe them as an indie band doesnít even come anywhere close to capturing what they actually do. For a start, this is more electronic pop goodness, than shoegazing droning guitars. There are undercurrents of world music, and hints of tribalism in the rhythm section.
Layers upon layers of sound rise and swell, before dropping away again, lending an organic feel to this very electronic music. Reverbed vocals float above the instrumentation, with the occasional drop of autotune reminding you that this is essentially an album of, from and for the digital age.
The album is essentially a love letter to technology; references to the everyday influences of the online world are scattered throughout, yet for all the modernity thereís often a very retro flavour to songs, with several sounding as though they could have been updated and rebooted from 80ís pop.
Thereís plenty of bands, local and international, out there doing similar things to what Urbantramper have achieved with iFiL, and getting a lot more attention, but to this new fan Urbantramper do it better than anyone else Iíve heard recently.
A band featuring members of the treeninja kollektiv. Urbantramper play, write, perform and record music... They also engage in other creative endeavours...
Manifesto-in-progress: to try and capture emotions/experiences, that are felt or perceived, and present them in a digestible, aesthetically pleasing format. To stimulate feeling in our listeners; be it that of concurrence with the emotion we attempt to convey, or of reaching a place hitherto not explored. To play, write, perform and record with ardour and respect for our subject, ourselves, our listeners and the artform itself; We aknowledge our responsibility to all...