Accessible electronic music tends to fall into two categories: electro-dance, strobe-lit club-shakers, and removed, echoing disturbia. So what happens when a band presses forward and does both? You’d get Brooklyn’s ArpLine, whose debut full-length Travel Book traffics in both grand club dance-press and stripped, affecting procession.
Of the two sides, Travel starts its journey in the dance-up, first with opening instrumental "Speed (Rush Ah)", and then the electric "Fold Up Like a Piece of Paper", a dance anthem for the rest of us. Bigger takes on this come in the subsequent "Make It Rain" and middle piece "Weekend In the Colonies", a kind of 80s electro-procession party. Only latter number "Game" misses, as its electro-rock kind of grinds on & on.
Click here for photos of ArpLine at CMJ 2010 in New York, NY in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
Click here for photos of ArpLine at Leatherfest at Rock Shop in Brooklyn, NY on October 3rd, 2010 in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
Click here for photos of ArpLine at Travel Book release party at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY on February 17th, 2010 in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
Click here for photos of ArpLine (as The Kiss Off) at Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY on March 5th, 2009 in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
But perhaps that’s because the back half of Travel is dominated by ArpLine’s removed, stripped, echoing electronica. And unlike the dance-up A-side, which kind of peaks early with "Fold Up", the restraint builds in quality, from the sad "Amplify" through "Sound and Versions" & "Cap" to closer "Rope", where the band reaches new heights of power. While the dance-up Arp is more immediately memorable, the echo-down Line is stronger in terms of quality.
Live, ArpLine (formerly The Kiss Off) have their own kind of dichotomy on stage: guitarist Adam De Rosa and drummer Michael Chap Resnick are all restraint (De Rosa looking like a skinny eighties New Wave Brit, fixed in place), while bassist Nate Lithgow takes up the whole stage-left when he jumps about, keyboardist Oliver Edsforth focuses on his instrument, but also struggling with being tied down to it, and singer/guitarist Sam Tyndall changing with the mood of each song. Which side one likes better is really a matter of personal opinion (and both camps can appreciate "Paris Unknown", electro-lit, but also darker), but the band does both very well.
MP3 Stream: "Fold Up Like a Piece of Paper"