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The Rubber Room
Yasushi Miura / Neon / Jeff Samuel / Golden Red / The Kooky Scientist / Undo and Vicknoise
The Rubber Room column is a weekly look at recent and notable releases that don’t fall into the rubric of traditional reviewed material—namely 7”’s, 12”’s, 3” CDs, EPs, cassette-only, DVDs and MP3-only releases.
Instant Construction Series No. 36 - Fine Motion (2004, self-released)
Instant Construction Series No. 37 - Bulk Of Cosmic (2005, self-released)
Instant Construction Series No. 38 - Medical (2005, self-released)
[Self-Released, 2004 & 2005]
Ever since Dat Politics went to shit after "Sous Hit," their masterpiece of discordant 8-bit seizure techno, I've been looking for someone to follow their lead and combine the speedy mentalism of gabba and rave with the campy fun of video game music. I've found a new hope in mysterious and prolific Japanese producer Yasushi Miura, who has amazingly self-released 38 EPs of hyperactive tinny techno in the past two years. Based upon the latest three installments in the series, Miura's quality control is similar to the prolificnature of The Fall, Guided By Voices, and Stereolab, where consistency is favored over stylistic diversity. Miura alternates amelodic four-on-the-floor bangers (average speed: 140 BPM) with spastic, pitched up drum'n'bass that recall a person actually living in the sped-up world from Koyaanisqatsi. Occasionally, he applies some reverb and drones to his squealing melodies, revealing a bizarre, alienating form of frantic tech-dub. While repeated listens may cause convulsions, you have to hand it to Miura; he is never anything less then attention-diverting and highly disconcerting.
[Michael F. Gill]
Hit Me Again EP
Yet another Aussie straight-ahead rock band, Neon tries to edge past its peers with this debut EP. The sufficient hooks and delivery make the band worth hearing, but not distinct. One of the tracks is a polished demo version of Cheap Trick's "He's a Whore," and whatever that idea triggers in your brain is pretty much how you'll respond to Neon. Two cuts are Big Star-influenced guitar-rockers that move enough to trigger a physical response, but the closing track—oddly another demo that could lose that parenthetical descriptor—drags with its directionless jangle. I'm not sold.
[Trapez Ltd., 2005]
Let’s get straight to the point: Jeff Samuel gets straight to the emotional point with “Endpoint.” A rotating rhythmic sample and a bass drum are merely pedestrians amid the stunningly simple and stunningly evocative melody that unfolds throughout. It’s destined to be a low-key classic. Probably not so for the B-side, but given the right context it’ll hit you just as hard. “Forinsee” has that stuttering affect that producers are putting to great use these days and, once again, it mixes well with Samuel’s keen sense of melody. This 12” is easily one of Trapez’s best for melodic tech-house lovers.
[Sub Static, 2005]
“Falling Sickness” gets the sound it's looking for about two minutes in when it enters its second portion and the bottom falls out, only to reveal another more massive layer. I wasn’t entirely sold on how the original track is grafted back on top, until the off-beat anchors locked into place and the bass started to get even heavier. It’s not quite electro-house, but it’s damn close. “Dropsy” is unrepentantly electrohouse, though, and doesn’t make apologies. Todd Edwards cut-ups merge with a straight banging track to make even the limpest dancer get jacking a bit. Recommended.
The Kooky Scientist
[Sub Static, 2005]
Sub Static is on it lately. This most recent 12”’s A-side is more woodpecker than mosquito, what with its insistent pecking throughout. The deep bass here is offset by liquid synth stabs that gloss up into a puddle and then immediately break apart to make away for the next. Its counterpart is darker and more metallic, each moment suspended in mid-air by a wavering powerline that precariously lurches back and forth in perfect rhythm. It’s a paranoid masterpiece that reaches its zenith in the sampling of what sounds like a distorted Ludacris from “Saturday (Ooh Ooh!).”
Undo and Vicknoise
[Factor City, 2005]
Regulars to this column know how this one is going to turn out, so we’ll just say it straight out: awesome. Aside from Nathan Fake and Alex Smoke, this duo has to be the brightest young stars on the house scene. Unlike those youngins, though, U+V have always had a bit more of the electro-trance in them and it comes out in full force on “Sonambula,” which by track’s end will have both wrecked you and been nice enough to put you to bed. Turn it over, though, and get even further towards dreamland with “Orca.” Yes, there are whale sounds.
By: Stylus Staff
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