Federal Crimes is a synth pop duo from Chicago, Illinois. They strictly use analog synthesizers and drum machines that predate 1985. Oddly enough Federal Crimes sound just as relevant as any other inspired electronic musicians that have their finger on the pulse and a knack for creating original music. Federal Crimes self-titled EP is a minimal affair that creates hypnotic synthy textures, subdued drums and various samples to forge a solid EP.
The album starts off with “Fraud by Wire” which contains wobbly dream-like syths and distant drums that last a minute and a half before going into “Rocket Power,” a repetitive song that takes a vocal sample and twists in a rhythmatic element not unlike something I would imagine listening to on a Oneohtrix Point Never song. There is a barely audible beat in the background as the electronic piano contains the one and only melody. The song “Wall Street” has a sample of a Bulls game in it. I was trying to figure out what specific game it was since Michael Jordan’s name got mentioned a number of times but I couldn’t. The music is simple and I often felt like I wanted the music to expand at times but maybe that wasn’t the intention of the album. The album closes with “Lost Highway” which is by far the longest song on the album. The song contains a couple of arpeggiated synths that loop about for about eight minutes. Although I felt the album needed some more peaks and valleys, it is a solid introduction to what Federal Crimes may have in store for us in the future and what they can build upon.
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