impLOG – Holland Tunnel Dive

• “Holland Tunnel Dive” fan created video. Thanks to 0rangeblossom.

8.5 “Excellent Electronica from the USA”

First out as a 12″ single (Infidelity JMB-231) in 1980.

Once heard, never forgotten, this incessant chugger incorporates elements of repetitive krautrock, no wave, new wave, electronica, the avant-garde and even throws in some soul-pop saxophone for good measure.

impLOG was largely Don Christensen’s solo project, and he enlisted some help from Jody Harris. Both had recently been in The Contortions. The short-lived group released just two singles in 1980 and that was it. Don’s modus operandi was to make music using found sounds together with his Univox drum machine, guitar stomp boxes (whatever they are), Casio keyboards and various percussion instruments.

The featured track comes across like some kinda futuristic missive, with the deadpan narrator painting a disturbing picture of his soul-less existence, as a mechanical beat repeats over and over. It’s a sad tale indeed, but a wry humour lurks within methinks: “nothing to learn, no soul, no love, no dinner tonight, no woman, no cry, no respect, no equal rights, no garden to hoe, no seeds to sow, no food in the fridge, no TV shows.” Very Flight of the Conchords!

For non-American readers, the Holland Tunnel (est.1927) is a vehicular tunnel under the Hudson River. It connects Manhattan in New York City, New York, to the east, and Jersey City, New Jersey, to the west. It was the world’s first mechanically ventilated tunnel. $15 toll, best avoided if possible. Anyway, I digress.

The disconcerting piece is punctured by a brilliantly recorded power-drill which temporarily obliterates the music at various intervals. Just when you think things can hardly get any weirder, along comes some chipper saxophone, cheerily encouraging us to get our funky ass on the dancefloor. The DJ who would dare to play this in the club is my kind of DJ!

Heard on Sean Hocking’s September 2017 show on Dandelion Radio.

2019-10-14

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