BEBETUNE$ – inhale C-4 $$$$$

With his new mixtape, artist James Ferraro explores self-destruction in the digital age. This theme can be taken literally from his YouTube page, which includes a music video for a track entitled “GTA SUICIDE.” The video delivers on promises, featuring player avatars throwing themselves off virtual skyscrapers in Grand Theft Auto 4. But this theme of virtual suicide comes across more subtly in the satire of the tracks on inhale C-4 $$$$$. Classifying Ferraro’s music in standard genres is near impossible outside of the general umbrella of electronic music, but his beats, prominent use of auto-tune and repetition of a clip that announces “BEBETUNES” throughout the mixtape is an obvious rip on contemporary rap and hip-hop. Most tracks are experimental, and when Ferraro finds a solid, organized beat it’s not long before it dissolves into indecipherable auto-tune, cell phone ringtones, or garbled sampling from iPhone’s Siri. Throughout inhale, Ferraro aims to disorient, and it’s a unique experience to get lost in this collage of digital chimes, ringtones, sirens, cultural references, hollow brand names (who even knows what Pepsi really means??), video game avatars, and virtual currency.

inhale C-4 $$$$$ has been made available for free on Mediafire.

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Album Review: Justin Trawick – You & I

Justin Trawick - You & I

Justin Trawick - You & I

Always eager to connect with fellow Virginians, I was enthusiastic to review 29-year old Justin Trawick’s new album, You & I.  He is not only a singer-songwriter, which the new album showcases; he also plays shows with the “Justin Trawick Group”.  This record, however, is a solo project designed to feature Trawick’s abilities as a guitar player and lyricist.

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Amon Tobin – ISAM

“Mass & Spring by Amon Tobin

I’m terribly late on this one. But I have a perfectly good explanation. Amon Tobin used to be one of the most generic trip hop artists I’d ever heard. Not that there was anything terribly wrong with that – his songs just didn’t seem to go anywhere beyond good background music. I skimmed through 2007’s Foley Room and was pretty into it, later reading that he had made the entire album out of samples he recorded himself, rather than from vinyl rips. But ISAM is this guy’s first jaw-dropping work, in my opinion.
Honestly, I don’t have much to say about it. It’s such an experimental work that it’s hard to categorize or put any adjectives to besides saying it’s a mindfuck of an album. For points of comparison, I’d put it up there with other avant-ish works of 2011, namely Björk’s Biophilia and The Only She Chapters by Prefuse 73. The only way to get a feel for the album is to listen to the song above.

ISAM is now available (and has been since April, what was I thinking sleeping on this) on Ninja Tune.

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Lukid – Chord

“Rags” by Lukid off of Chord (2010) recommendations be praised. Dude’s making some really interesting sounds in the vein of Flylo, Teebs and the whole Brainfeeder crew. For fans of hip-hop, downtempo electronic, zoning out, video games, IDM, relaxing, bobbing your head, etc. Pick up “Chord” by Lukid on iTunes.

-Drew Bandos, host of Coast Off (Fridays 12-2pm on WRGW).