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Tilted Axes are a New York-based guitar ensemble along the lines of Ratatat, but with a more post-punk twist. More than that, they are about 20 puns. Their debut album, Music for Mobile Electric Guitars, plays off the double meaning of “axes”: an axe is obviously another word for a guitar, but “axes” is also the plural for the geometry term, “axis”.
Due to Tilted Axes’s double-pun status, there are lots of geometry-themed tracks on Music for Mobile Electric Guitars: “Shapes”, “Circulation in G Maybe”, “Techno Tilt” and “Asciae Obliquae” are some fun examples. The album’s cover art also depicts a guitar in the center of a circle, making up the tilted axis of a circle and with other geometric imagery. It’s clever but also relevant to the band’s style. As compositions, each song is clearly done with musical mathematics in mind. That said, the not-so-mathematically titled “Tilted Axes Theme” is probably the best track on the album. While most of the tracks are clean and well-composed, this track stands out as emotive despite being without vocals and very post-punk.
Tilted Axes have one more trick up their sleeve on top of mathematically-themed songs and puns up the ying yang. This ensemble doesn’t do gigs. Well, not in a conventional sense anyway. The project is mobile and interchangable. If a venue or festival wants a Tilted Axes performance, a call is put out to local guitarists, and the necessary slots are filled. The only constant is the project’s creator, Patrick Grant. And so, the last piece of this album’s title slides into place like an axis through the center of a circle.
Innovative, different, interesting and not taking themselves too seriously, Tilted Axes have created their own niche in post-punk and beyond. Music for Mobile Electric Guitars can be streamed or purchased on Tilted Axes’s Bandcamp Page.
Written by Layla Marino
Blog: (Dropping) Weird Science