In the name of full disclosure, I must reveal that I am a long-standing Cyberchump fan. I’ve been on board since Scientists in the Trees introduced me to their blend of highly intelligent electronica and unmitigated funk. On The Construction of Things, they further solidify my appreciation. With 10 short tracks jamming by in 49 minutes, it’s a series of mostly pop-length tracks they refer to as “Dub meets Neo-Cosmic Aural Sculpture.” I refer to it as a pretty cool groove. Cyberchump have a signature sound and cadence to their work, a blending of sticky bass lines, yawning psychedelic guitar, and ambient-wash backdrops. That basic framework gets melted, twisted, and reformed each time out on this release, so while you will definitely hear variations on a repeating theme, each fresh rendition has its own character and its own way of working itself into your head. “Stuck in Stutter” comes in strong with a repeating phrase and bright sequencer tones. It’s big without being overly forceful, deep without getting too complicated. A big dose of energy early in the album. You get another hearty shot of it later with the memorably named “Shark Your Booty.” This is the sort of song you close your concert with, a thundering jam of considerable size, packed with adrenaline and doled out with the occasional beat drop to bring the crowd in. Fists in the air, everybody, they’re playing “Shark Your Booty”! The duo tackle some downtempo work as well, as with “Trap City,” where tones like chimes crossed with Fender Rhodes play out against a hazy backdrop that warbles its way through. More yummy bass strolls easily along with it. Space lounge, more or less. “That Nagging Feeling,” which precedes it, stays reasonably laid back, with more of those Rhodes tones taking their time to poke their heads out and look around. The bass arrives to join in, also keeping its voice down as this thing spins into some sort of spy-movie narrative. Slick and slippery guitar leads later in the track trace their lines across it as well and ramp up the vibe a little. Smooth. “No Big Deal” gets trippy with a slithering flow and a smoky, half-sung, half-chanted vocal by Jeanne Marie Vielleux. This mid-tempo piece is thoroughly loaded with atmosphere. The guitar here carries a twisty, acid-tinged flavor that adds perfectly to the mysterious feel.
I enjoy The Construction of Things, but I know it’s going to really shine tucked into a bigger playlist. I’m a fan of the Cyberchump sound profile, and I think it really leaps out and makes itself known paired off against things that aren’t Cyberchump. There are pieces here that would go into my personal “Best of Cyberchump” album, and overall this is yet another chewy, turn-it-up-and-go outing from the duo. Grab this one now.
Available from Bandcamp.