Styles: synths, effects, hand-dryers, a plane taking off: you get the drill
Others: any artist fighting in the fabled post-Casio Wars (also: Göte)
Everyone seems to want to get their KEY on these days, with anal(og) synth projects flowing off the underground lines like campfire-folk records did in 2004. Jennifer Melinn’s Rat Catching project, despite its familiar ingredients — human + synths + effects sprinkles = PURE PREDICTABLE MADNESS — tends to cut a little deeper than Ye Olde Solo-Keyboard album. It’s got a nasty edge that snags your ear like a rusty nail and scrambles your brain like the resulting rabies-style infection, swirling its elements around and around until the listener is Ralphing all over the place and coughing up a terrible combination of bile and melted cinnamon Jolly Ranchers. It ain’t pretty, yet it’s enormously satisfying.
Both sides of Rat Catching’s self-titled debut start with slow, smooth swells of bass with ripples and ridges, and Side A sticks with the buzzsaw milieu for its duration, plugging away like Born To Kill or Evenings (another Fedora Corpse corporal) until all that’s left is tiny, pin-prick-sized holes in the brain and warped eardrums. It’s as if this never-ending ripple is building up to something bigger, and as it turns out, it is.
Side B extends the idea into a creation both beautiful and bold, scientific B-movie synths ghost-sighing in the background as the bass beast in Rat Catching’s belly grows hungrier and angrier. If you’re looking for reference points on this side of the tracks, consult Mudboy, inhale Aerosol Constellations, and visit Oneohtrix Point Neverland Ranch. Soon it’s swallowin’ bitches whole; you won’t want to miss the Metroid maze you’ll often find yourself lost in, nor the Vincent Price-ish effect the whole concoction emanates. This is slow-roasted, doomsday synth action that — if there’s any justice — will be playing when the world slowly, painfully disappears into a black hole.
It’s hard for me to believe a luscious purple (literally) record such as this, at a clip of only 100 copies, is still available, but it is, so boot-scoot/duck-walk to your nearest, uh, computer chair and order yourself a copy before the light goes out and you’re left fumbling around like the time you missed out on purple/turquoise copies of Amethyst Waves. You wouldn’t want that to happen again, would you?
03. Ink Pot
07. Rat Catching
09. HK 85
10. Yellow Bird