Elephant Pill is, at least to my knowledge, a one-person project. That’s about as much information I can give you. The Facebook bio for Elephant Pill is an insane story about a 5-year-old being kidnapped by rabbits, while the description of this record, The Tortoise Hair Troupe is described as “an imaginary puppet/stop-motion surreal-horror film about a factory-made troupe of performers.” I mean, where do I even begin with this one? I just sat through one of the strangest “musical scores” I’ve ever heard and I won’t lie, it was a complete test of my patience to sit through all 27 tracks.
There is no distinct sound to pick up on. I guess I could say that it’s highly experimental electronic music, tinged with elements of eerie carnival sounds. One by one, tracks like “The Show Begins,” “Hot Tub Orgy” and “The Clown’s Been Murdered” begin to make me feel a little insane. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. If Elephant Pill is trying to evoke a surreal horror feeling, it’s definitely there. But with no actual film for it to be a backdrop to, I find myself wondering what the point of listening to this is. At this moment, I can find none.
To be fair to Elephant Pill, this album would be pretty cool if it was accompanying an actual horror movie with stop-motion and puppets. But, it’s not. I guess you’re supposed to just imagine the puppets? Either way, that doesn’t work for me. On Elephant Pill’s Bandcamp bio, it’s explained that the drastic change in music from previous releases (which had a more trip-hop sound) was, “because [he] finally gained the self-confidence to make the music I REALLY wanted to make.” All the power to you, man. I can easily root for any artist that has the guts to share their art with the world, but The Tortoise Hair Troupe is going to be a hard pill for most of the world to swallow.
Written by Dominic Abate
*edited by Kate Erickson