To the average listener, Uncle Charles’ broadcast of the Infrasonics’ debut album, Bad Guy Music is an original treat to the ears. Created at InfraCon3, the Infrasonics’ secret subterranean lair, Bad Guy Music’s 15 instrumental tracks have the hip, bohemian swagger of a soundtrack to a movie about a European jewel thief. The album ranges from frantic, driving rock in songs such as “EKG,” “Bad Guy” and “Passport” to mellow, blissful head-nodders like “The Job” and “The Caper.” To the Bad Guy, it is a coded message: details of his next operation.

Bad Guy Music

Somewhere in Prague, a small pirate radio station is broadcasting Uncle Charles’ electronic rock hour, featuring the crafty analog arrangements of the Infrasonics. A few kilometers away, just at the edge of the transmission’s range, a receiver captures the FM frequencies, converts it to encrypted ones and zeroes and flashes it at the speed of light across copper wire all over the world. In Barcelona, a laptop silently decodes those ones and zeroes inside a briefcase handcuffed to the wrist of the Bad Guy.

Others lucky enough to intercept the transmission are treated to an earful of driving electronic rock, smooth beats and lush, layered compositions, courtesy of Chicago’s newest analog symphony orchestra, The Infrasonics. With their vintage organs, electric pianos, moog synthesizers, guitars, basses and booming beats, the Infrasonics’ blend of electronica, indie rock, trip-hop and downtempo grooves light up stereo speakers across the world.

The Infrasonics have been the Bad Guy’s partners in crime since the turn of the millennium. Veterans of a top-secret cold war weapons program which studied the use of ultra-low-frequency sound waves as weapons, Jim Birch, Matt Engstrom and Steve Trumpeter absconded with the blueprints, disappeared underground and used the technology to fuse a new aural assault. Now, their unique musical abilities and sonic adventure comes to the table without the confines of specific roles in a band. During the course of a mind-bending Infrasonics show, each member may pick up a guitar, click a mouse button, lay down a synth melody, tweak knobs, and pound out a bass line, sometimes within the same song. This gives the band a chance to exhibit a spontaneity not found in other electronic outfits.

To the average listener, Uncle Charles’ broadcast of the Infrasonics’ debut album, Bad Guy Music is an original treat to the ears. Created at InfraCon3, the Infrasonics’ secret subterranean lair, Bad Guy Music’s 15 instrumental tracks have the hip, bohemian swagger of a soundtrack to a movie about a European jewel thief. The album ranges from frantic, driving rock in songs such as “EKG,” “Bad Guy” and “Passport” to mellow, blissful head-nodders like “The Job” and “The Caper.” To the Bad Guy, it is a coded message: details of his next operation.

At the end of the hour, Uncle Charles’ pirate radio station goes dark, disappearing into the night while the Bad Guy begins his preparations. Fortunately, music aficionados in the know can still pick up their copy of Bad Guy Music and crack the code or check out one of their incredible live shows and explore the exciting underworld of the Infrasonics.

The Infrasonics

"The idea was to try to create an instrumental concept album," says Steve Trumpeter of The Infrasonics' debut LP Bad Guy Music. "We envisioned it as the soundtrack to a movie about a European jewel thief, and figured each song would tell a bit of the story not through words and pictures, but through moods and emotions and rhythms."

Indeed, with the pulse-quickening pace of songs like "EKG" or the mournful regret of "The Sinner in Church," the songs on Bad Guy Music take the listener on quite a thrill ride. Interestingly, the study of infrasonics, or sound frequencies below that which the human ear can distinguish, was first explored as a weapons program during World War II, with the intent to invoke fear or confusion in the enemy through low-frequency vibrations.

The Infrasonics, made up of Jim Birch, Matt Engstrom and Steve Trumpeter are Chicago's premier analog symphony orchestra. With their vintage organs, electric pianos, Moog synthesizers, guitars, basses and booming beats, the Infrasonics' blend of electronica, indie rock, trip-hop and downtempo grooves light up stereo speakers across the world.

During the course of a mind-bending Infrasonics show, each member may pick up a guitar, click a mouse button, lay down a synth melody, rock out on an organ, tweak knobs, and pound out a bass line, sometimes within the course of the same song. This gives the band a chance to exhibit a spontaneity not found in other electronic outfits. Augmenting the Infrasonics' live sound is drummer Bryan Resendiz whose rock-solid mix of electric and acoustic drums anchor the Infrasonics' thrilling soundscapes.

Recorded at Caffeinated Studios in 2004-2005, the 15 songs on Bad Guy Music run the gamut from driving rock ("The Chase," "Passport," "Bad Guy") to spacey downtempo ("The Caper," "The Job") to funky grooves ("Sinner in Church," "The Casino") and all points between.

"We were really interested in twisting the arrangements as much as we could to keep things interesting, yet accessible," says Jim Birch. "Even songs we've had lying around for years wound up being changed drastically for the album." The end result is a hypnotic electronic rock voyage that serves as a stunning debut by a band that is sure to inspire music-lovers for years to come.

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