Lazer Caps Rubber Jazz

Recorded between 1995 and 1998, the tracks on Rubber Jazz sound like nothing new but nothing dated either. The light and bouncy title track may seem familiar for two reasons — it was released in ’98 and was in a car commercial last year. Billed as the bratty younger brothers of the Kinder Atom crew, their sound is minimal techno and un-cheesy house. Nearly all of the tracks were composed with analog gear and recorded live, replete with a gurgling infant in "Rise Baby” and the howls of a (reportedly) naked man in "Cubage” — making visions of the studio scene(s) rather interesting. Although the organic warmth of a didgeridoo starts the latter number, it is quickly contrasted with a strong beat. As it progresses, this track morphs and becomes echoey, with the human howls sounding more like bird calls or whale song. The only ambient track, "Wahdrone,” concludes the album pleasantly with an introspective sound, but would have been more agreeable if it had ended a little sooner, as it is highly repetitious. This album is solidly good, not groundbreaking, but pleasing. (Nice & Smooth)