Oh, Michael Valentine West, how you love to challenge me. How you love to say, “Here, Mr. Hypnagogue, try describing this one.” So this time you show up as Lower Third, bearing the questionable gift of Hiromi Restraint, and once again, as you did when you wore your Twiggy & the K-Mesons outfit, leave me all wrapped up in your anything-but-normal ideas of electronic music. Why am I fascinated by the vocoder in “Quite Possibly You” and the way you match it up with that sparse, sort of menacing backdrop, the one that plops like lead raindrops? Why do I smile and bob my head at the simplistic chipset construct of “Hello Spaceman” even after you start tangling it up with a mess of other sounds? Why do I sit through “Atomic Drag Coefficient,” listening to the indecipherable computer voice and the sci-fi theremin warble, waiting for you to break it out–and not minding it a bit when you don’t because there was something in the way you built tension in the thing and a depth that made it interesting. You lead me on with “The Boy in the Paper Clothes,” that piano sounding like that old Primitive Radio Gods track, that metronomic beat, and everything pulled just a little back into the distance to make it interesting. You hammer away at me with the pure sonic assault you call “A Hole in Fabric of Time,” just flinging out every sound you’ve got en masse, anchoring it all with a simple bass riff and coyly playing an uncomplicated melodic line over it. Sometimes I understand why you make me crazy, though. “Automatic Death by Radio Jazz”? Really? Just drill into my skull next time. And that last thing? Can’t listen to it. Instant headache.
Oh, Michael. You’re so frigging weird.
You’re coming back soon, right?
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