Gotta Groove Records Spotlight (Les Cousins Dangereux- Crossing Boundaries and more)

In a few days you'll be able to read all about my trip to Cleveland for the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I got to spend a few days finding out why "Cleveland Rocks!" and one of the things I did was tour the city's record manufacturing plant, Gotta Groove Records. The guys and gals at Gotta Groove are sort of unsung heroes for vinyl fans; you don't know them by name but they're always busy stamping out quality copies of new albums by hip artists like John Doe and lovable weirdoes like the Residents. And those super cool limited edition collectibles on colored vinyl pressed just for Record Store Day 2012? Many came to life on the presses at Gotta Groove. If you happen to be in Cleveland and would like to see how records are made, Gotta Groove does give tours. You just need to call ahead and make sure it's a good time to stop by. Reach them at 877.383.2445,www.gottagrooverecords.com In the meantime, here's a salute to some of the new indie releases pressed at Gotta Groove.

Les Cousins Dangereux
All Sprinkles

(Self released)
LP, random color vinyl

The music on All Sprinkles sounds like it's made by a full-blown synth band but in fact Les Cousins Dangereux is just one man; Tim Thornton. Working here with an array of older Casio and Korg keyboards and Ableton Live loop-based software Thornton manages to sound at once ultra-modern and retro, especially noticeable on the zippy "Walter & Wendy (Casio Mix)," perhaps an homage to early keyboard whiz (and gender-bender) Walter/Wendy Carlos. Other tunes, like the title cut, have heavier bass grooves and could easily compete with the output of better-known artists for spin time at hip dance clubs, especially those in Europe. If you dig these instrumentals Thornton has several other Les Cousins Dangereux releases on the market.

You Blew It/The Saddest Landscape
"Terri V. Tori"/"In Love with the Sound"

7" 45-RPM split, colored vinyl

You Blew It's side of this split, "Terri V. Tori," is a fast post-emo rocker that has a sound custom made for the Warped crowd, poppy enough to catch a lot of ears while also edgy thanks to angst-y vocals. The Saddest Landscape on the other hand play an interesting mash-up of thrash, hardcore and even classic rock on "In Love with the Sound" where you'll hear Black Sabbath bass riffs and fast thrash drumming holding down the low end for screamo vocals and guitar playing that's fiery one moment and sublime the next.

Crossing Boundaries
"Slurring Words"/"King Street"

7" 45-RPM single

Impressive sounds from Crossing Boundaries, especially considering that they are just high school kids, winners of Cleveland's Tri-C High School Rock-Off in 2011. Both songs here are aimed straight at the pop charts with crystal clear vocals and fun, uncluttered melodies, with "King Street" having a subtle undertone in its arrangement and production that hints at classic Motown.

Headed to Cleveland? Visit www.positivelycleveland.com

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