The warm swell of vintage equipment is now something of a shibboleth for independent musicians. It seems the further reality recedes towards a state of media-induced dystopia, the more producers and musicians reject blue screen-glow for the familiarity of knobs, sliders, and triggers. Last week vinyl outsold mp3s. Cassettes have been making a significant resurgence as the format of choice for the best experimental labels (and Urban Outfitters). The physical hardware used to produce the music, and the chosen release format, all points towards a closer connection between the listeners and the musician.
Daddy Long Legs and Central Processing Unit records enter this retro-futurism with an interesting product. It’s obvious DLL’s Tom Parker has got a sense of humor. His bizarre corner of the internet is somewhere between a dingy, neon-lit internet cafe and one of those bric-a-brac shops where you can cop anything from a live alligator to powdered albino bone. Spiders crawl across the screen as CG infants dance to acid techno. The cover for his first release, Sugardaddy, shows Parker flexing with pistol and drum machine in front of a glitzy Miami hellscape. Tracks like “Strip Club” start out bouncey, but soon descend into a hazier, scarier underworld.
The “Intergalactic Lover” white label 7” has no individual identifiers – these are all available online. There is no artwork to differentiate the slabs, just a simple logo and binary catalogue number. The record also sounds like it just as easily could have been found as recorded. This is not meant as a dig to Daddy – just imagine: shimmying between two dumpsters as he outruns two gorilla-sized bouncers down the back alley behind a club, Parker drops his gun. He scrounges in the grimey bin to retrieve it, and instead finds an unidentified 7” covered in mayonnaise and other mysterious fluids. “Intergalactic Lover” conveys a biomechanical primitiveness, like mid-century erotic coupling between man and techno-goddess, blinking red nipples and hardwired hair streaming behind her chrome body. The chorus is memorable and Parker is a sultry crooner. The shmaltz is laid on thicker than in Sugardaddy though, and the track doesn’t have that fun, apocalyptic quality to it. In my opinion, “The Club” is much stronger. It’s a hardware lovefest, with an airy cowbell sample floating above a grid of punchy step sequencers. Parker gives himself a standing ovation at the track’s end, but “The Club” would certainly light up any room in 2016, and in whatever begone future era the track is emulating.
By Ross Devlin | Loose Lips
a1) Intergalactic Lover
a2) The Club