Electronic Planet Ensemble is the group of Austin cool rockers who invented the "music of the spheres" genre.
Like the earth itself, they come orbiting through the Vortex once a year with another adventure in space and time. In January 2009 it was Spaceman Dada Robot; in January 2010 it was Surfin' UFO. In October 2009, breaking that pattern with a bit of space-time insouciance, they sailed by in a reprise of their In.Car.Nation, a rumbling hymn to classic cars with spaceship shapes.
For Planet of the Mermaids, Saga-man David Jewel and cyber-man Sergio R. Samayoa look to be generating the concepts and pushing the envelopes, while composer/bassist Chad Salvata and wild woman percussionist Rachel Fuhrer give the stories and the melodies waves to sail upon.
It's invigorating, subtly comic, ironic stuff. The crowd last Thursday in the Vortex at Planet of the Mermaids was doing a lively theatre-seat boogy of its own, calling out encouragement and adoring the hot pastel big screen images for the newest modulation.
The magic for me of EPE's previous creations was the melding of word images, melody and rhythm. David Jewell's laconic verse and wryly reflective spoken images open your mind up the way a mild dose of psylocbin might do, while your autonomous nervous system grasps that rock 'n' roll sound track. Jewell's photos and Samayoa's images paint the background.