Silicon Graffiti: A Manufactured Mess

26Mar08

Has spring become the season of compilations and samplers? Yesterday, it was “Wait Til The Ice Melts”; and today is another electronic compilation. And to keep the trend going, I’ll have another sampler for you tomorrow.

Silicon Graffiti CompilationToday it’s Silicon Graffiti, a compilation with music from Circuitree and Catalog Records. Silicon Graffiti deserves that name. It’s “silicon” because it is all electonic and manufactured; it’s “graffiti” by being loud, noisy, messy and “unpredictable” and I guess “artfully created”?

Now, as a disclaimer, I don’t know much about music, just whether I like it or not. I don’t know or care how it’s made, or if it takes talent or not. So with that said; let’s take a walk and look at the silicon graffiti.

Over all, it gave me a headache that would probably be caused by a toddler playing with a sequencer, mixing board and some pots and pans. As I previously mentioned, I have a formula which makes electronic music enjoyable… basically don’t be annoying. It wouldn’t be fair to say that every track failed that requirement. But overall the compilation seemed disjointed. A few tracks seemed out of place. Otherwise the running theme of this compilation seemed to be a thread of electro-indie-hip-hop and the space-electo. Let’s start off positive.

Top Track: “Lyrical Soda Paper” by PG-13 and Wake sounds like Jay Z’s “99 Problems”, with the lines “I feel bad for you” “my casket’s closed” completely mutilated. This was a really interesting track to listen to. It had different things going on but was still very congruent.

Theme 1: Electro-Indie_Hip-Hop:
Junc Ops’s track “2013” is a fine example indie-hip-hop. You know, hip hop that replaces the typical mainstream hip-hop beat with a varying instrumental or in this case electro-indie-pop sound. And although the mainstream hip-hop is realizing that intricate beats are cool Timbaland and other producers are changing that standard, (but that’s a whole other issue). As for “2013,” it’s like Aesop Rock picked up the pace, or The Death Set laid some quick contagious beats.

Theme 2: Space-Electro:
Space-electro is back, just like it was when it was “futuristic” in the 80s, only I guess now, is the future and it’s still pretty futuristic… As for the rest of the album, I either don’t get the future or that the bleeps and blips are just not for me. Opening track, “Under Your Skirt” by Take and Fluent In Fiyah’s “You Are The Important Person” are two enjoyable tracks on this messy compilation track.

Main issues:
Issue 1: The cuts are so short, sharp and shrilling.
The best example of this is “Dangling Eyeball” (by Nived vs Hydroplane) seems contrived from the pop cultures references and paranoid inducing beats. “18th Sheet Reflections” by Jimmy Edgar start with the space-electro texture that smooth, floating feeling, but then adds in laser beam sounds and cuts up the rest leaving it less relaxing and harder to follow. “Interference” by 000 did the cutting right. They are short, sharp cuts but are still enjoyable. It almost somehow gives it a cowboy mood to this very electronic, not cowboy at all track.

Issue 2: It’s disjointed. From going from space to being thrown in the grown repeatedly, Silicon Graffiti does not seem to have a particular mood. Just when my head was about to explode form the choppiness, it slows to the cello featuring “Arriving At The Water (seemingly organically made) with glockenspiels quiet chants. (Is that a flute? Do they know they put Roy of Sealand on here?)

And to close, we headed back to exploring space with Caural and Hydroplane. By Hydroplane’s sound clipping gives way to Eleanor Channel’s “Through the Magnesium Manifold” which is just a short track that ruins the mood that seemed to be developing with sound clips of high pitched feedback, breathing, (huh!?) and a steady beat here, then no beat or a different beat, then a guitar made beat. (What?) Then we leave that land of mayhem with another enjoyable (and almost worldly) track. “Cognizance” by Kentsoundz relieved my headache. It took me away, not to space but in the atmosphere where the air is clean and you can see children playing while mothers watch while enjoying the day.

Overall, this was not… good.

Tracklisting:
1. Take – Under Your Skirt
2. Junc Ops – 2013
3. Jummy Edgar – 18th Street Reflections
4. 000 – Interference
5. Baku – Dream Eater
6. Machine Drum – Judah 2012
7. Fluent In Fiyah – You Are The Important Person
8. PG-13 and Wake – Lyrical Soda Paper
9. Nived vs Hydroplane – Dangling Eyeball
10. Roy of Sealand – Arriving At The Water
11. Alf 1 – The Vapors
12. Caural – Testshot Starfish’s Polaris Remix
13. Hydroplane – Fellow Rescue Paste
14. Eleanor Chanel – Through The Magnesium Manifold
15. Phoenecia – Bro 79 (Jacqu Polynice Remix)
16. Wake – NeighborhoodSpecialist
17. Kentsoundz – Cognizance
18. Omar Jon Aljuni – Good Living

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2 Responses to “Silicon Graffiti: A Manufactured Mess”

  1. 1 paul gaeta

    Thank for the review!!!-

    circuitreerecords@blogspot.com

  2. 2 Wake

    … well, thanks…


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