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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast
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Ka-Boom! Box
Pop! (Boat)

If Ka-Boom!Box's easygoing electronic Caribbean grooves and burbling, synth-abetted dance-pop mixes sound very un-Madison, there's a very good reason for that. Keyboardist/turntable jockey Adam Powell has musical experience far beyond the confines of Wisconsin, and Madison ex-pat Dan Bitney has made his mark globally with influential Chicago post-rockers Tortoise. Bass player Robin Davies (who worked with Bitney in both the Tar Babies and Booty Froot) has always demonstrated broad musical tastes as well, and his developed sense of where the groove should ' and shouldn't ' go is key to the success of each of the five tracks included on the EP.

Another Booty Froot alum, the accomplished funk-rock guitarist Rodney Anderson, also gooses a couple tracks.

Both Powell and Laura Miller handle vocal chores, and while neither one possesses especially powerful equipment, they fit in well with the material. Powell has a lot of success glossing the quiet side of '80s hitmakers Simple Minds on 'Coming in Threes,' while the laid-back Miller explores the lower end of her range to good effect on the rum-cocktail-drenched lead track, 'Let It Drop.'

Oddly enough, Bitney's percussion work is often very restrained and rarely recalls his other, much higher-profile gig. Indeed, it's unclear whether he had much to do with generating the CD's one dubby instrumental, 'When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears.' In any case, the track is powered by some sly, skittering beats, most of which were likely generated by East-side J-Dub, who's credited with programming the disc's electronic drums.

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