Exposé Online banner

The Van Allen Belt — Lactater-Tots
((Not on label) no#, 2004, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

Lactater-Tots Cover artThe Van Allen Belt is the moniker taken by composer Troy Paiva, who wrote and performed ten tracks with Apple software packages that emulate basic rock and roll band instrumentation. Initial impressions recall a playful composer’s point of view that invokes works by Devo and They Might be Giants meshed with early Spock’s Beard or Kevin Gilbert’s later work. “Space Junk” opens the collection in a futuristic state where Paiva’s mode of delivery becomes easily apparent. His lead vocal and lyrical content reminds me a lot of Wall of Voodoo’s old singer Stan Ridgway (whatever happened to him?) with a bit of an extended drawl and a bit of tongue in cheek attitude. Following that up, “Creeper” captures a similar essence to many of Billy Currie’s forays into instrumental music after his work with Ultravox that is heavy on lush synthesizers, grand piano and programmed bass. “Suburban Tiki” captures much of the same attack with some creepy layered backing vocals eventually leading into fuzzy organ leads that work well within the private construct of the composer. The enhanced software package capabilities are quite surprising given the insulated scope of the individual performer which Paiva is comfortable to use. Despite a bit of mechanical percussion at times, the composer manages to flex his composer’s skills a lot as heard on trippy pieces such as “Psycho Synchromesh” that gets a bit tiresome due to some of the upfront synthesizers and digital mix. Closing out the disc is “Closer/Plasma” which ends the demo collection on a consistently high note. I’d be curious to hear how a full band arrangement of a few of these pieces would sound with the right supportive instrumentation.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): The Van Allen Belt

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Round House - Jin.Zo-Ni.N.Gen & Wings to Rest – The Japanese five-piece Round House apparently never recorded a proper album during their existence in the late 70s, though two releases were cobbled together out of live tracks, demos, and some...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues