It's been a long time in the making, but Electric Music AKA's album is worth the wait

Tom Doyle and Anth Brown of Electric Music, now trading as Electric Music AKA, after the threat of legal action from

former Kraftwerk man, Karl Bartos, have made one of the year's most understated, but rewarding albums in North London Spiritualist Church.

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On the European offshoot of the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label, ZubiZaretta, it has gathered reviews fitting the care and attention that has obviously gone into its extremely lengthy gestation period.

Doyle has been in bands since he was 13 in Dundee, and has known

fellow Dundonian, Brown, for 15 years, yet remarkably this is the first time he has released an album.

In between times he has busied himself as a writer, his labour of love book, The Glamour Chase, an awesome

tribute to Billy MacKenzie, which has been the catalyst for TV programmes and re-issues which have restored the late Associates' singer to his rightful place in Scottish pop folklore.

It is, therefore, no real surprise that North London Spiritualist Church has been some time in the making.

''We both moved to London in the late eighties,'' he says, ''and originally Anth came down to be the bass player in a band I was in (Float), which released a couple of singles and then split up amid a whole lot of messy, druggy stuff.

''At that point Anth and I wanted to keep working together, but I never wanted it to turn into some sort of project that operated on a Blue Nile timescale. Time just passed and things happened - it never seemed like we were being painfully slow.''

Among the diversions was the signing of a publishing deal with Rondor in America during the mid-nineties, which brought them into contact with the FBI when doing some shows in New York, and also allowed the setting up of their Scabby Road studio, where much of the album was recorded - until its power supply was interrupted. Doyle explains two of the Electric Music legends: ''When we were in New York we had these two guys from Perth coming out with equipment for us,'' he recalls, ''and obviously they had been drinking on the flight. It was before the days of air rage being reported in the press, but one of them had to be restrained and was cautioned on the flight after hitting some people. Meanwhile, we were sitting in a flat in New York, smoking and drinking, waiting for them to arrive, when the buzzer goes, and, straight up, it was 'This is the FBI'.''

In spite of the equipment initially being confiscated and the ''crew'' sent homewards, the gigs were a success, though not sufficiently so to preserve the publishing deal.

''The proceeds from the publishing deal allowed us to set up our first

studio in Crouch End,'' he says. ''It was effectively an old shed with lots of power points up an alley, and during the whole time we were there we never paid for electricity, it had been set up in the past to run off one of the meters upstairs, and I guess they used a lot of electricity and had never noticed. We, of course, were completely skint, and dreading someone finding out, but one day we came back and the guy upstairs had installed one of these sensor lights that go off when someone breaks the beam.

''Unfortunately, he must have used one of our fuses, because when we went into the studio, none of the lights worked any more. The actual studio gear did, so recording continued for a while by candlelight, before we had to give the studio up because we ran out of money.''

It was, however, around the candlelight months, when they wrote and recorded Escape Artist, that things began to come together for Electric Music. They hooked up with Grand Royal, though, surprisingly, they have no Beastie Boys anecdotes. Yet.

''With Grand Royal, it was very much just one of these things that

happened,'' he says. ''We certainly didn't go looking for it.''

He adds: We had been touted round all the A&R departments in the past and no-one was that interested. I knew Anton (Brookes) who had done press for the Beastie Boys for years and had kind of vaguely mentioned it to him when he said he was setting up a label with Grand Royal, and it just developed from there.''

While Doyle's experience of the music industry may have helped the band, he has survived the routine mauling dished out to music journalists making albums (think Gay Dad), due largely to the quality of the work. He is pleased at the response to date, but has no careerist agenda worked out.

''In an ideal world, it would be great if word of mouth and the internet sold records,'' he says, ''and I would just like this album to be viewed as some sort of lost classic, that people hear about, and maybe even after the next album comes out, get in to.

''We are part of a whole strain of music that is not particularly mainstream, nor is it particularly left field. I love pop music, too - that's why I did the book about Billy MacKenzie.''

While Doyle relates to contemporaries like Elliott Smith and The Delgados - with whom Electric Music have toured - the influence of MacKenzie looms large.

''He was a huge inspiration for

people in Dundee,'' he says. ''He really had something and it was just magic seeing someone like that on Top of the Pops. It gave people in the city making music a real boost.

''The book made no money and publishers weren't that interested in a book about someone who had three medium-sized hits almost 20 years ago - but I viewed it as some kind of karma banking, and I think that the things that have happened after it - the talk, the dance event at the Edinburgh Festival, and the re-issues have all been fantastic.''

He reveals that MacKenzie's last collaborator and Electric Music AKA's live keyboard player, Steve Aungle, has recently mastered another posthumous album (''a companion to Beyond The Sun'') for release on Paul Haig's ROL label later this year.

For Electric Music AKA, they are working on a second album and about to embark on support tours in Europe and a few shows in America to coincide with the record's US launch in October. Before then, Electric Music In My Mind, is released as a single.