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Friday, July 22, 2011

Technicolor Yawn - "Designer Phobias"

Artist: Technicolor Yawn
Album: Designer Phobias
Year: 2011
Label: Chimera Central
Genre: IDM, Experimental
this album on discogs: here



"Designer Phobias" is an interestingly weird new idm/experimental album from a band with an equally weird name. What we have here is 14 tracks of DSP abuse spearheaded by ultra glitchy, complex percussive elements and some minor atmospheric elements. The directionless (though cool sounding) wanking of the opener "Gabbleblochets" is a good indication of what we're in for.

Good stuff:
+ Percussive. This album is completely amazing when it comes to the drums and beats. The beats are rapid fire like hundreds of tiny bits of shrapnel coming at you through space, while constantly changing and subtly shifting form. Just slightly less mindfucky than Xanopticon. Despite each track having really complex percussion, he manages to make each enough changes each time to keep it fresh and sounding different.
+ The few other sounds he uses are generally good and weird, and fit very well with the beats. The other stuff is mainly a minimal atmospheric pad-ish sound, or a mutant warbling synth stab thats having it's DNA shifted as it plays. Track 2, 'Reptoid' does a good job of utilizing minimal atmospheric pad-sounds to make you feel like your trapped in a space ship contaminated with a virus and slowly breaking apart around you.
+ Good, even production. The beats and the bassy elements sound good and fit well with each other. The mix is very spacious.
+ I love the artwork.

Bad stuff:
- My main critique of the tracks on this album is that there isn't enough in them. While his beats are indeed amazing, thats really all there is here. There is little to no atmosphere, melody, tangible synth sounds, etc. I don't care how complex and bizarre your beats are, alone they simply are not enough to carry 14 tracks.

Unfortunately, despite how promising some of this album is, as a whole it doesn't deliver. The percussion is amazing and does a fantastic job of laying the groundwork for what could have been a series of huge tracks, but unfortunately after Technicolor Yawn laid down the beats he more or less called it a day. If this album utilized even decent sounding atmospheric elements it would have been an must have, but  instead its plagued by the same pitfalls as overly tech-minded producers like Richard Devine, where it sounds like little more than a demonstration of technical wanking without really giving the tracks the soul/emotion that would turn them into proper "songs". I would love to hear this stuff either remixed by a more ambient-inclined idm producer, or hear Technicolor Yawn remix a more ambient track.

Overall Rating:


evancairo said...

oops. thanks for liking my artwork! -evan cairo

p.s. ignore the last comment i left. i clicked on the wrong thing.

syphsaun said...

its good for cleaning gun and watching shark week