Monday, July 13, 2009

Eric Copeland - Alien in a Garbage Dump (Paw Tracks CD)

Just in from Brainwashed:

Former Black Dice member Eric Copeland has set out on his own off late, forging a highly unique sound that draws lines between pop, hip-hop, experimental and dance modes into an entrancing discourse on contemporary music culture. This, his second solo outing, further traces this at once nostalgic and futuristic musical approach ever deeper into the spaceways.

From the opening it is clear that this is not a sampling album of the usual order. Hardly as poppy as Animal Collective has become in recent outings, "King Tit's Womb" starts things with a pitch-bent vocal loop loping along atop a slowed down, street meandering beat before a bass line's funk restrains the work from being overwhelmed by the snaking fits and starts. More in line aesthetically with James Ferraro (of the Skaters) and his Lamborghini Crystal or Edward Flex projects, the piece has the same Ray Ban adorned dimentia of Ferraro's work, if a tad more giddy.

Yet the overwhelming nature of the pieces do retain this feel, pulling from seemingly any source that holds appeal in the name of a congested and highly immediate sound whose basis could only lie in the overloaded information age of today. The title track moves from short rap samplings, sprawled amongst a thick mass of bass garbble and flow, to trotting techno rhythms being manipulated to whatever sickening means are necessary.

Where many in this realm have a difficult time avoiding the trappings of a certain sound, Copeland's abilities extend themselves in his manner of treating each track as its own, forming worlds evocative of a highly varying number of moods.The celebratory chorus of pumping rhythms and crowded mumblings on "Osni" has a summer time trajectory that is highly contrasting to the go-nowhere pop malfunctioning of "Muchas Gracias." "Al Anon" is perhaps an even better of the pop album at the heart of this record, with nearly decipherable lyrics splayed over a bounding, spring-like rhythm with a chorus and everything.

At its heart the disc—actually a combination of two previously released EPs—is a party record, but one conscious of its role within that setting. Never a copyist and, conversely, a theft at heart, Copeland has fun with his material to such a degree that it becomes a distinct vision all his own, as twisted and convoluted as any contemporary head space. There's a poetry to the method it seems, but one buried far beneath the laughter accompanying it.

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