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Trans Am: Liberation
Trans Am: Liberation
Artist Trans Am
Album Liberation
Label Thrill Jockey Records
Released 2/17/2004
Purchase www.insound.com
Liberation is the first album on which politics have crept into their music. Their position is unambiguous. Recorded in summer and fall of 2003 at National Recording Studio, built by the band in 1998, Liberation reflects and contains sounds of the tension coursing through the city. The hum of the swirling helicopters, the din of police sirens, and culture of fear have become omnipresent in Washington DC. It was in this environment that Trans Am finished their seventh album. Recorded live with the window of the studio open, the police car driving past their city studio was caught on tape. Today, on a normal commute through DC, one is likely to encounter a Humvee on the side of the road- not a workout guru's Hummer, but the real thing with mounted machine guns, surrounded by desert camouflage. New York's skyline is the most radically altered in the past three years, but life in Washington is palpably different. Musically Liberation is classic Trans Am. Styles shift from track to track, culling from a vocabulary familiar to fans of Futureworld, TA, Red Line, Surveillance, and Surrender to the Night. Trans Am's most direct political statement comes in the sound collage culled by radio and television sound bites. However, the instrumental tracks are dark with a tension that captures our current state of affairs. Like nearly all their albums, Liberation was engineered and mixed by the band. Production assistance was provided by Jonathan Kreinik (who often mixes them live), Paul Manley and Nikhil Randade.