LOCAL CD SPOTLIGHT: I Am The World Trade Center

It's appropriate that Athens-based Daniel Geller — who, along with girlfriend Amy Dykes, records as I Am The World Trade Center — would identify with a work of architecture. Geller, co-founder of Kindercore Records, makes electro-pop that is well drafted and soundly constructed. More curious is the title of World Trade's full-length debut, Out of the Loop, named perhaps with some sense of post-'90s irony, since the entire album is loop-based and computer-arranged.

The pictures stretched broadly across the booklet of Out of the Loop appear to depict the future of the past — the imagined modern day from the '60s, perhaps — while the sounds of the CD equally span the latter half of the century. Bits of bubblegum, Big Beat and Brit-pop all seem to have made their way into the Gateway notebook used to compose these songs. Atop warm flute, organ samples and loping beats, coupled with the occasional Moroder-influenced disco bass, Dykes adds breathy vocal melodies that are less aggressive than Blondie but more forceful than St. Etienne.

Out of the Loop's lyrical themes are the exploration of a couple from laid-back Athens, Ga., relocated and discombobulated briefly in New York City. Musically, though, the album retains the wonder you'd expect of any group even vaguely Elephant Six-affiliated. Out of the Loop is a present view from a possible past revisited through the technology of today. It's a Gateway-a-Go-Go party. It's pop pastiche, sans cynicism. It's tongue-in-cheek, but makes you twist and shout. After a close listen, the jerky, quirky sound World Trade builds doesn't seem all that out of the loop after all.

I Am The World Trade Center play The Earl Thurs., Aug. 23.??