Annie & The Station Orchestra – Bingo Halls (Bearsuit Records, 2016)
Strange name for a guy, one Chas Kinnis, who apparently took his nom de group from a track on the Bunny & The Invalid Singers album (also on Bearsuit). Perhaps Annie, Bunny, and Chas are three sides of the same alternative universe Kinnis inhabits. In any event, this follow-up to the split he released earlier this year with Ippu Mitsui runs roughshod through his collection of electronic instruments with varying degrees of noise, experimentation, and melodicism. Perky proggy syncopated motifs run through ‘Time’, with perhaps a little Herbie Hancock-styled funk tossed in for fun and games – the whistling that morphs into meowing cats is fun, too! And that’s been Kinnis’ modus operandi for most of his material that I’ve heard: kitchen sink arrangements and about-faces that combine multiple genres and styles into the same track, never allowing the listener to get comfortable or complacent. It’s usually not an easy listening experience, but always a rewarding one.