Restless Leg Syndrome for your ears.
Kelly Rossum
Michael Ferrier
Michael O'Brien
Steve Roehm
Kelly Rossum
Michael Ferrier
Michael O'Brien
Steve Roehm
Catalog Number: 

Minneapolis, MN

Release Date: 
Feb 7, 2006
1 CD
ElectropolisiTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page
Song TitleTimePrice
2.The Slider02:47$0.99
3.Sailing the Flat Earth04:52$0.99
5.Naughty Maria03:49$0.99
7.Blue Omni03:53$0.99
8.Ouch Not Again03:12$0.99
9.Lead Soldiers01:17$0.99
10.Bat Soup04:08$0.99
11.The Little Red Blinking Light05:59$0.99
One Sheet: 

Free experimental rock? Buzzed-out, Bootsy-esque grooves with a foot in the punk-rock gutter? Ambient beauty smashed against a wall of thick rhythmic thunder? That's the kind of alchemy that's been occurring since April 2000, when this Minneapolis foursome electrified the name of their hometown to form Electropolis.

It’s funky and soulful, while still riding a quirky jagged edge. Think James Chance-type energy but smoothed-out, Bill Laswell-style. Or maybe Parliament meets Naked City in a back-alley rumble refereed by MMW.

This is music that gets stuck in the land of dreams and toys with your restless leg syndrome.

Unconventional though it may be, there are no overdubs or guitars on this record. Some of the tunes were composed right there on the spot, first take, no looking back—but they still retain a tight pop aesthetic. Could these be the Minutemen of experimental free rock?!

Electropolis features Michael Ferrier on electrosax, Michael O’Brien on bass, Steve Roehm on percussives, and Kelly Rossum on electrumpet. The record was mixed by NEVERWAS (aka Chris Cunningham)—known for his work with James Chance, Gavin Friday, Hal Willner, Anton Fier, and many others. And the cover art for the record was done by the incomparable Winston Smith (Dead Kennedys, Green Day, etc.).



A restlessly inventive, Minnesota-based post-rock jazz quartet in the spirit of Lounge Lizards and Medeski, Martin & Wood, Electropolis lives up to its name by powering up the effects pedals on pretty much everything but drums, including the usually unamplified saxophone and trumpet, and filtering its music through fields of eerie distortion. There's a noirishly cinematic quality to the effect, with a buzzingly propulsive rhythm that's full of constant surprises‹it seems perfectly appropriate that Electropolis has found great success in concert as a live soundtrack to the classic modernist sci-fi film Metropolis. Perhaps most impressively, more than half of the songs on Electropolis were spontaneously improvised, and the rest were done in a single take.

By Christopher Bahn


Full marks for ambition. The kind of thing that would be great as the soundtrack to … oh, I don’t know … a German expressionist silent movie. What? They already did that? Awesome.

By Staff


The freshest instrumental jazz/rock album I've heard in 2006. Where is jazz going? Electropolis shows us one potential future. Sample it!

By Sanjuro


Three Words: Original, Avant Garde, Spontaneous. ... Well organized chaos battles tight, rhythmic genius in this electro-jazz explosion

By Brooke Aldridge


It's the bomb, chickadees. If jazz ran helter-skelter through the house of funky rock, Electropolis would be riding piggyback, grabbing a handful of hair. This album is a danceable, can't-wrap-your-head-aroundable fusion of chaos and order.

By Dan Wahl


Is it jazz? I don't know how to categorize it, but Duke Ellington once said that there were only two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. This is good music. It contains elements of jazz, and punk, and other things with odd sounds and toe-tapping rhythms. This is not dinner music, it is music that demands your attention and rewards you when you give it.

By Don Berryman


Full marks for ambition, guys. In the spirit of Bill Frisell’s work with the films of Buster Keaton, saxophonist Michael Ferrier’s Electropolis (with Michael O’Brien on bass, Steve Roehm on percussion and Kelly Rossum on trumpet) has already created spontaneous soundtracks for Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” and now they’ve released a slinky, spooky out-there disc so you can take their misshapen electronic/acoustic grooves home with you. A mix of improvised and pre-arranged compositions, Electroplis’ self-titled debut is in the vein of exploratory-yet-groovy fare like David Fiuczynski’s Screaming Headless Torsos, Medeski Martin and Wood’s classic Friday Afternoon in the Universe or the Twin Cities own Fantastic Merlins (featuring Ferrier’s wife, Jacqueline Ferrier-Ultan, on cello). Rather than relying on overdubs, Ferrier and Kelly Rossum simply plug in the normally acoustic saxophone and trumpet (respectively) to create the electrosax and electrumpet, and away they go into territory normally reserved for electric guitars and keyboards. “Dagobah” comes off like Yoda driving War’s low rider as a trumpet (I think) sweeps through a phase modulator and the sax bumps out spastic bursts through a digital delay. It’s moody, atmospheric stuff that knows when to strut and when to break ankles, the kind of thing that would be great as the soundtrack to … oh, I don’t know … a German expressionist silent movie. What? They already did that? Awesome.


Electropolis gets high marks for its bracing, ready-for-prime-time mix of jazz, rock and funk

By Tom Surowicz


A quartet of bass, percussion, electrosax and electrumpet, Electropolis produces eleven tracks of interesting jazzy rock on what I believe is their debut. The amplified instruments produce some odd effects; on first hearing I was sure they had a guitarist. Fuzz, distortion, phased-type noises, and other modifications on typical jazz timbres are to be heard. There are no overdubs on this recording, however. What’s more impressive is that five of the eleven tracks are improvised, a challenge not only for the usual reasons of mutual listening and playing off each other, but because there are more and varied tones that can be used as well. There are some reminders of 70s Miles Davis here, both in the often ambient/soundscapeish nature of the compositions, and of course the trumpet sound which often approximates Miles’ sound of the period. Groovy, nimble, and succinct, Electropolis produces a fresh brand of jazz that is worthy of Innova but still approachable and direct. Fun stuff.

By Sean McFee