Living in Los Angeles at the beginning of the last decade was an instructive experience. Although I am skeptical of autobiography-driven appreciation, it’s impossible for me to think about I.E. (Inland Empire) without falling into a bit of a reverie. Living now at a time when the Internet has become the inescapable medium through which underground music is dispersed, it’s strange to think of a time when these transmissions required going out and meeting people, crossing social boundaries and traveling, sometimes alone, to dubious venues in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Of course all this still happens, it’s just that its constant documentation by the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. has the effect of making it seem less real, not more.
This is all to say that something as strange and wonderful as “Dungeon Of Drunk Girls” could only spring forth from the Southern California sprawl. The techno sound is rudimentary; an unadorned rhythm suggests a time before electronic music fractured into an idealized, non-existent past before an ever-multiplying ecosystem of sub-genres and micro-scenes. That this music is created without irony by the unflappable Margot Padilla of Pretty Cool Land, a collaborative site dedicated to earnest exploration of the fringes of various Los Angeles subcultures, reinforces I.E.’s “only in LA” qualities. The accompanying video montage of found news footage documenting Angelenos at various out-of-control parties completes the picture of the Southland as a boundless region of sun, smog and love.
Words: Max Burke
I.E.’s Choose Your Own Adventure is now available on Bandcamp