• Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations

    Reviewed by John Mulvey (NME)

    Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations

    Pass the Sunny Delight ands the revolver. "Dummy Variations" is the not entirely pleasant sound of kindergarten anarchy, where the heads of Teletubbies are paraded on sticks and the nursery is equipped with padded walls. Its main conceit is to take saccharine melodies, the sort built into toys and music boxes, and then corrupt themn with a barrage of drill'n'bass, creating a hyperactive equivalent to Boards Of Canada's creepy evocations of childhood.

    Joseph Nothing - one Tatsuya Yoshida, born in the States and currently resident in Japan - is the sick soul behind all this, and he has the gall to follow his concept through to its logically irritating conclusion. The tunes aretty enoough and, in the case of "A Shine On Your Head", sometimes evenfeature an accordion. The manipulation of squelches, squeaks and overloading beats is deft enough to be a match for nothing's label boss, Mike Paradinas. The eccentricity level is astronomical, so that a hacked-up punk riff on "Every Beauty Has It's Scum" is the albums straightest moment.

    Yes, "Dummy Variations" is often excellent, but often devastatingly annoying by virtue of its own success, too. Ever fancied listening to tunes from rudimentary video games on constant repeat? "Disc O'Nostalgia" is your hit. Ever dreamed of the techno version of "Rod, Jane and Freddy"? Enjoy "A Bad Day In The Midlife". Massacres have been motivated by less. At playroom raves, the enchanting and the spasm-inducing evidently come hand-in-hand.
    (6)

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