For music so reliant on the repetition of samples, it’s interesting how little Matthew Papich’s Co La project defamiliarized the source material while still managing to incite confusion. 2011’s Daydream Repeater, the first vinyl full-length for both Papich (Ecstatic Sunshine) and NNA Tapes, was certainly a pleasurable and easy listen, but people seemed to have difficulty figuring out whether or not they were “enjoying” the experience. There’s an amateurish simplicity to the music, and it was precisely this aesthetic transparency, this refusal to bend samples beyond proportion, this matter-of-fact presentation of pinpointable samples that made listeners question the quality of the music.
Daydream Repeater, in other words, was so empty of easily discernible meaning that its meaning was up for grabs. But no one was really grabbing, because aligning yourself with an album that begins with an untouched Twin Peaks sample might just be too obvious a signifier that it’d be particularly uncool to like. But fuck crate-digging aesthetics and technical proficiency, am I right? First and foremost, Daydream Repeater created experience, not meaning, and our reactions to it say more about our preconceptions than whatever intentions Papich might’ve had. The album sounded at once familiar and foreign, a surreal and fully-remembered daydream.
The above video is titled “You’ve Been Expected” (which is also the title of a Co La mix from October 2011), but it actually consists of two tracks off Daydream, “Vanity Plate” and “Wanna Say Faux.” The latter track features an especially fun deconstruction of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” (Fun fact: during live performances of the track, Papich pulls out Kleenex tissues one by one as a “gesture of solidarity” with the audience.) We set the Vimeo video on loop, so keep this browser tab open for maximum impact.