Somnambule - Writing About Music

Team Doyobi ~ Choose Your Own Adventure

Bit of a dilemma: writing for is a new gig for me and I’m pleased to be onboard – it took a long time getting here. I finally met the editor for the first time the other night at the Nobukazu Takemura gig. Nice chap. But as he handed over my first batch of cds to review he fixed me with a look that had a glint. Everything went quiet for just a moment and he said “dis the Skam”. I’m sure he did. So with some trepidation I put on the Team Doyobi cd (Skam). The problem is that I like the music. The dilemma is - risk the wrath of the editor, Sheikh Ahmed, and write what I think or toe the party line? If you’re reading this he’s decided to publish anyway, maybe he’ll admire my integrity...

Choose Your Own Adventure is good shit. Hi-grade. Heavy-metal. (Electronica, that is). It’s hectic, apparently unstoppable and induces an adrenalin rush as if you’ve been teleported without warning into Ripley’s skin and her first Alien is racing towards you along the ceiling, it’s tail angrily lashing from side to side. It’s the car chase from French Connection teleported to 2012 and overdriven until the engine or whatever they’re using at that point gives out. Rhythms speed up and down at will, drumtracks crash, burn and get strafed by synthesizer gunships intent on erasing anything in sight, friend or foe. Radial Fold comes on like a robot blues for century 22. And that’s only tracks one through three. Radar Garden and Square It take some kind of well-earned raincheck, but the second half of the latter track locks itself into a cyborg replicating plant and starts making cocktails out of firmware gene patterns. Mod Truckin’ steeps itself in flurries of digital slush, the sort when virgin snow’s hardened and turned grey by diesel fumes and industrial effluent. Weaken Not, For You Are The Magma sounds like a soundtrack for one of those still-scary British horror films like Threads, Day of the Triffids or The Changes – all wailing, wavering analogue synth tones. The whole album’s so synthetic you can almost taste aspartame every time you listen.

Choose Your Own Adventure is as busy and dirty as you wish electronica was, but so seldom actually is. It’s got bad manners, it’s too long for its own good and you wouldn’t introduce it to your favourite auntie, but you’d be dead chuffed to be asked out by it. Maybe Sheikh said “dig the Skam” and I misheard...
Colin Buttimer
February 2004
Published by Absorb