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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews


Aston Dilla

Dilla-esque, while one of the more cringe-worthy descriptive words attached to modern music, it's probably a decent starting point when attempting to describe Peon's sound. Maybe it's also justified to include some descriptive nonsense about the score to a fictional avant-garde art installation, as the anxiety-attack-provoking electronic glitches found on this album seem like they would be most appropriate when accompanied by a white room of flickering light bulbs and several hundred neatly stacked CRT monitors playing 2-bit loops of naked men walking through a Tron (the original) grid layout.

Peon, aka John Hassell from Sydney electronic genre-shifters Seekae, understands that glitch-pop is only 50% copy-pasted uneasiness. The other half is accessibility. In addition to the obvious — his re-worked versions of Destiny Child's Say My Name and Christina Aguilera's Can't Hold Us Down — there's plenty of comfortable refuge on the Aston Dilla Rollercoaster Tour, where the listener can bump their head to a hip-hop beat, throw down with some hindu breakdancing or croon-out to an elongated soul sample.

But of course, these more linear components are only included to ease you into a false sense of security before the violent evil twin struts into the room, pummels you to death with their deep bass lines, burning your eyes out with their scattered electrical jolts and occasionally just taking the old fashioned approach of simply drowning you in a mountain of fuzzy noise and wobbly synths that elegantly come-and-go like crack den occupants.

It's unclear whether the purpose of Aston Dilla is to moisten the appetites of Seekae fans for their forthcoming sophomore album or for Hassell to just unload some creative offcuts. And I guess the motives aren't really important. There really isn't a single dull moment on this record and if the high quality showcased here is a sign of what's to come from The Seekae Family — and the wider experimental electronic beatmakers of Sydney as a whole — then 2011 is going to be one hell of an exciting year for the genre.

Note: this album is available as a free download from here.

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