Somnambule - Writing About Music

Afropolice ~ Breakacode

First Reaction
Track 1 - Power From – comes on like the bastard lovechild of Jezebel Spirit from David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts and Drexciya’s The Quest. The former supplies the exhortations, the latter the music which is determinedly electro/techno – lo-grade synths busily pattering out zigzag rhythms. Track 2 – R-Trick – weeeelllll... I’m stuck. I’ve described what Afropolice sound like and the rest of this cd represents little variation from the aforementioned template with the exception that the Bush Of Ghosts influence fades away leaving the Drexciyan one in full view. If you’re a fan of said group and don’t mind slavish exploitation of their sound without the aquatic leap of the imagination and subsequent (subaquatic) terraforming then Afropolice are for you. Track 3 – Morsecatcher – is that synthetic voice really repeatedly saying the word ‘fart’? It seems contextually unlikely, but I can’t make out what else it might be. Maybe it’s a Germanic influence and the word is ‘fahrt’ as in drive. By the time I reach track 6 and given its title - Ocean Depth Adventure – I’m wondering whether Afropolice is in fact Drexciya by another name, despite the reported death a couple of years back of James Stinson. I feel like there may be a trick question tucked away subliminally somewhere in this cd, something along the lines of ‘Write a 2000 word essay on how Afropolice’s Breakacode release differs musically from Drexciya’s The Quest released in 1994” being the modern-day equivalent to the punishment of having to write a long essay on the inside of a pingpong ball. The challenge is to work out whether the former is a trick question and in fact there is no difference or whether there are differences and some attentive listening will unearth them.

Second Reaction
God I love Drexciya.

Third Reaction
Is hearing more of music in their style so bad? Even if it’s only new tunes played to the same template? The cover art’s not great – the front is a poor rendering of Robby The Robot (from Forbidden Planet) carrying an unconscious blonde - but the music's energetic, fun and reasonably varied.

Fourth Reaction (after reading the press release):
They’re from Tokyo. They’re not Drexciya. Which is kind of a relief.
Colin Buttimer
April 2004
Published by Absorb