Ela Orleans: photo by Polygon Headroom

Ela Orleans: photo by Polygon Headroom

This double album, released last year on Scottish label Clan Destine Records is a strange and wonderful journey. It wanders far and wide across the forgotten margins of the pop landscape, featuring Instrumentals, delicate pop songs, elements of sound collage and spoken-word snippets over strange and timeless music. If there’s any kind of unifying theme here it is maybe the idea of a kind of grainy sampled & looped dream-pop. Except for when it is not that.

Ela Orleans is a Polish musician now based in Glasgow, Scotland. She was a member of Scottish pop collagists Hassle Hound in the late 90s, and has also lived in Brooklyn, New York, where she played with various members of the New York experimental and noise scenes.

As a double LP, each of the four sides provides its own gallery of sound and song. The term ‘experimental pop’ doesn’t do it justice. These are not so much experiments as working examples of successfully stepping outside some of the conventions of pop music and making the familiar sound exotic. There’s nothing difficult here – just sometimes a little odd, cryptic and unexpected.

Reference points – if these will help you understand and persuade you to check out this extraordinary double album for yourself – might be an echo of Broadcast ghostliness or Stereolab budget-motorik beat-pop here & there. There is also sometimes perhaps a hint of Julee Cruise’s ‘Twin Peaks’ woozy disoriented soundtrack pop. But there is so much more than that contained on these 4 sides of vinyl, rewarding repeat explorations over time.

Best option is just to track it down from Clan Destine Records here via mail order. It is a very limited 300 edition double LP pressing. Let this be your one impulsive purchase this year as it was for me – if my words here make any sense to you it will not disappoint. If my words here don’t make any sense to you then try this much more informative & accurate review here.

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