Cyberchump, ReGrooved

Cyberchump & Janzyk, ReGroovedThe duo known as Cyberchump has always had a certain chameleon-like sense of identity. They’ve dabbled in IDM with thick beats, they’ve quieted things down to a meditative flow, they’ve strapped on guitars to revel in their prog-rock roots. After years of inventive reinvention, Jim Skeel and Mark G.E. had a chance to let someone else figure out who Cyberchump is, so they naturally took it. They handed tracks from their first two albums over to “laptop tweaker” Janzyk, and the result is ReGrooved, a club-friendly, funk-laden joyride that neatly (and wisely) retains at its core the smart synth-and-guitar blend that is signature Cyberchump.

The source albums came before my initial introduction to Cyberchump (2004’s Scientists in the Trees) so I can’t cogently comment on what Janzyk did re: the originals. What I can say is that it’s an early Saturday morning as I write this review and three tracks in it’s all I can do not to get up and start dancing around the kitchen. This is potent stuff, beat-wise, and packed with lots of extra ear candy that make it a pleasure to drop into. Highlights for me include the smoky, sort of John Klemmer-ish sax that writhes through the bass-thick “Space is the Case,” and the punchy dancefloor attack of “Love Offering.” By contrast, Janzyk slows things down with “Dreams Groove,” a sparse track that rides largely on a cool backbeat and occasional chordbursts of guitar. This one takes its time, doesn’t cram in any excess sound, and comes off as one of the slickest tracks here. ReGrooved is a disc that really shines in a shuffle, pulling an immediate energy into any flow. It’s just plain fun to listen to, track after track, and quite nicely put together. In outsourcing their latest incarnation, the lads of Cyberchump chose wisely.

Available from the Cyberchump web site.

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