The Trons: The Trons (Pieplate CD/DVD)

 |   |  1 min read

The Trons: Attack of the Mute Ants
The Trons: The Trons (Pieplate CD/DVD)

A few decades ago Devo advanced the idea of "devolution", that Mankind wasn't going forward but actually regressing and you could see that in the behaviour of the mob. Regrettably it seems they might have been right if idiot postings on Facebook and You Tube are anything to go by, not to mention the guy who will hold up store at gunpoint for a packet of cigarettes and small change.

Now we turn our attention to Kraftwerk who took the human component out of music making and turned it over to computers.

Mix Devo and Kraftwerk and you get the highly devolved rock group the Trons who are pure machines built and programmed by Greg Locke. See, no humans required. Just machines making . . . well, something much more interesting than metal machine music actually.

The Trons seem programmed to make taut post-Velvet Underground minimalist rock, or something akin to surf-rock as re-imagined by the Feelies. There are also sampled/processed/diced up vocal parts.

Described as a "self playing robot garage band" they are the invention of the inordinately talented and inventive Locke who has taken them on the road (so he's their roadie-cum-tour manager as well, and I guess he gets the rider) but also stretched them into other directions.

One track here, Twister, is the band collaborating with a Len Lye sculpture.

What lifts this beyond an eccentric if amusing diversion is Locke's keen artistic sensibilities in terms of visual presentation (because let's face it, there's even less to look at than at a Kraftwerk concert). This CD comes with an eight song DVD collection of exciting videos which refer to Expressionism, early Flying Nun DIY clips, slightly menacing moods in the manner of Residents' clips . . .

This is an impressive art-cum-rock project: an installation which actually does something nad makes you laugh, dance and think. It's also quite unnerving for some as one of the clips shows, people don't quite know how to respond. 

Terrific package. For more on the Trons see here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if... > Read more

Kurt Shanks: Blood Line Heart (Plus1/Aeroplane)

Kurt Shanks: Blood Line Heart (Plus1/Aeroplane)

At a crucial point in the lovely Auckland-located ballad These Are The Days, the mood drops, hooking you with intimacy, and Kurt Shanks speak-sings, “No, I don't desire any sales pitch... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Ayam Pongteh (Chicken and Potato Stew, Malaysian style)

Ayam Pongteh (Chicken and Potato Stew, Malaysian style)

In late 2007 I spent a couple of weeks travelling around Malaysia -- and notably went to Melaka, the food capital of the country where Baba Nyonya food is a local speciality. Baba Nyonya is the... > Read more

Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (1964)

Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (1964)

The sudden and unexpected death of saxophonist/flute player and clarinettist Eric Dolphy just months after these exceptional studio sessions for the Blue Note label robbed jazz of one of its most... > Read more