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As indicated by their name, Pram brought a distinctly childlike worldview to their uniquely cinematic brand of fractured electro-pop; unlike the cutesy, baby-doll mentality which informed the work of many of their more whimsical contemporaries, however, the group's vision of childhood was decidedly nightmarish, evoking a hallucinatory world of helplessness and fear. Formed in Birmingham, England in 1990, the Pram aesthetic originally consisted primarily of frontwoman Rosie Cuckston's eerie vocals and the sounds of a homemade Theremin, but the unit's ranks later swelled to include multi-instrumentalist Matt Eaton, bassist Sam Owen and keyboardist/sampler Max Simpson. After their bare-bones 1992 EP debut Gash, Pram's music began to grow more intricate, their odd melodies and hypnotic beats textured by toy pianos, triangles, glockenspiels, glass hammers and even a Hawaiian bubble machine; the 1993 releases Iron Lung and the full-length The Stars Are So Big, the Earth Is So Small...Stay as You Are greatly expanded their horizons by experimenting with sound and structure, and by the release of 1994's Helium they even began incorporating elements of jazz and hip hop. Pram's progress continued with 1995's excellent Sargasso Sea, a deeper plunge into sampling which yielded their most taut material to date. Another EP, Music for Your Movies, followed in late 1996, and in 1998 Pram returned with the full-length North Pole Radio Station. Fall 2000 saw the release of The Museum of Imaginary Animals. The following year the group issued the Somniloquy EP, and then returned with another full-length, Dark Island, in early 2003. Jason Ankeny

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