The Prairie Cartel Ready EP 1, EP 2

posted November 19, 2008

The Prairie Cartel Ready EP 1, EP 2

They've opened up for artists such as Klaxons, The Presets and Simian Mobile Disco. Tommie Sunshine and Joel from the Faint have mixed their tunes, and they've appeared on Grand Theft Auto IV with LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture. Now The Prairie Cartel are ready to unleash their debut EP 1 and EP 2 on January 29th.

The Prairie Cartel began in Chicago when some ex-musician friends began DJing because hauling laptops around is easy and hauling amps and drums around sucks. After spinning a few house parties they started to make their own tracks to fill in some gaps in their DJ sets. These songs soon were getting requested and gave the guys the idea of hooking up a mic and performing the vocals live over the backing tracks here and there during their sets. This set-up made everybody slightly uncomfortable and the band soon deeply missed the instruments they had callously abandoned in the previous months. However, this brief experiment on the underground DJ circuit gave them a taste for nontraditional venues and after making up with their keyboards and guitars (aw baby, it’s going to be different this time, promise) they set about playing the same type of parties as a band. As pictures from these shows document, it was chaotic, exuberant, and a little scary. The local press were there and called them “a crazy electro ruckus,” a “hedonistic roughed up take on disco,” “sizzling,” and a “three-headed electro-rock beast,” even though there are four of them. It could have gone on like this, but eventually the Prairie Cartel were coaxed on to real stages that had things called monitors and lights and got to open for the likes of The Klaxons, The Presets and Simian Mobile Disco. Around the same time the phone rang; it was the makers of Grand Theft Auto IV asking if they would like to be in the game on the same radio station as LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture and The Black Keys. They didn’t have a label, or any music available for sale for that matter, so they said yes. They would have said yes anyway.

Their first releases—a pair of EPs simply titled EP1 and EP2—were surprisingly well recorded in the band’s basement with two cruddy mics and a bipolar laptop. They have one foot in the grimy parties and warehouses of their conception and the other in… something else. Spread over two pieces of clear vinyl, these EPs have been described as “an unholy mix of Modular and Wax Trax.”

From the Giorgio Moroder meets Modern Lovers groove of “Cracktown” to the WTF freak out of “Fuck Yeah That Wide,” this record captures the anarchy and spirit of a Midwestern band giddy to warp their electronics with the necks of their guitars. Pretty awesome remixes were generously donated by international sex-god Tommie Sunshine, The Faint’s Joel Peterson, Australian drug enthusiasts Acid Jacks, and the Francophiles of Hey Champ. Enjoy what the Prairie Cartel sound like now, the band just discovered Pink Floyd.