In the mid 90:s, the United States had a thriving electro scene. Yes, you just read that right. Index were one of the acts that made a substantial impact during those heady years. "Sky Laced Silver" was a debut album unlike any I'd heard before. This band was fully formed, highly evolved, motivated and above all else, quite technically proficient. As a matter of fact, their sound was mature beyond their years.
Gradually, it became clear to one and all that Eric Chamberlain was the driving force behind Index. With album after album continually astounding the fans and the critics, it appeared that there was no end in sight and that Index were going to ascend to a world-wide level of prominence. The Skylash side-project's debut "Empyreal Day Dreams" showed another, even more melodic side to Chamberlain's abilities. With the advent of the new millennium, Index graced the world with perhaps their finest yet, 2000's highly stylized "Ultra Hard Shadow".
This album confounded the public a bit too much, as it was totally instrumental and not the aggressive dance floor opus which was expected. So perhaps because of this, or maybe simply because he no longer found Index to be the creatively satisfying outlet it once was, Chamberlain terminated Index. A unique sound was gone.
But no more.
In these days of pop music masquerading as an alternative to FM radio hell (read: whatever genre of the week the labels create) , there are few who can remember or indeed, create what it once was that enthralled us all. Now christened Index AI, this legendary act from Albuquerque, New Mexico (yeah, you read that right yet again) have returned and let me tell you, "World Blade Center" is no listless, flaccid "comeback" album. It is one of the most outstanding pieces of electronic music I have heard to date. Portion Control's "Well-Come" only hinted at what this album delivers. Haujobb's "Vertical Theory" merely teased you with the possibilities which Eric Chamberlain has seen to fruition.
In short, if you were a fan of this band the first time around, "World Blade Center" will be in your player, on your drive and inside your head for a long, long time. After five years of silence, the US may just stand a chance of once more being taken seriously as a thriving center for electronic music. Check out the tracks "Charnal Palaces" or "Silent Architecture" if there is any doubt in your mind.
That Index AI are unsigned is outrageous, that they are back is absolutely inspiring. Don't ever do that again.