It's easy to draw a straight line from the sound of Imitation Electric Piano to the sound of Stereolab. After all, IEP mainman Simon Johns is the bassist for Stereolab and the bubbly, analog pop on "Trinity Neon" is similar to that of his other band. But it's nearly as easy to draw an even shorter and straighter line to the Canterbury prog-pop of bands like Soft Machine. Johns even thanks Robert Wyatt "for the music" in the liner notes. In the same vein as bands such as Soft Machine or Matching Mole, IEP utilizes deceptively intricate constructions and dense layers of organic sound to create an easy, floating sort of pop -- the kind that sounds great on a summer afternoon (or when you're really, really high, I guess). Locking into loopy grooves based on thick keyboard lines and persuasive percussion, IEP doesn't go in for the politicized jazziness that informed the Canterbury sound, but he does aim for -- and succeeds in creating -- a similarly utopian vibe.
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