• Dykehouse - Dynamic Obsolescence

    Reviewed by Kent Williams

    Dykehouse - Dynamic Obsolescence

    The current competition between electronic musicians these days seems to be a footrace to the bleeding edge of technology and the listener's patience. This is inevitable as the means of musical production are literally changing beneath a musician hands. In this environment, intelligent, appealing compositions that aren't a new variation of a sharp stick in the ear can get be ignored.

    Mike Dykehouse (it's really his name, give him a break) thus archly titles this collection "DynamicObsolescence." He's stylistically a step child of musicians like Aphex Twin, Black Dog, and Muziq. But to say that doesn't mean Dykehouse's music is purely derivative. There's way too much idiosyncratic pop sensibility going on.

    So while you'll hear familiar sounds here -- Aphex Twin's squiggly analog melodies, Muziq's muted trumpets, Squarepusher shattered breakbeats -- but they're recombined with wit and musicality in service of Mike's sense of instant nostalgia for what in slower eras would pass for current events. Where there's melancholy, it's the sort of sadness of a computer that's obsolete before its fifth birthday, or an action figure forgotten before it's done outgassing it's smell of new plastic.

    But above all, it's the work of a composer creating something new from the sounds he reacts emotionally to in the work of other. It's a sort of fan's note in that sense, but as appealing and substantative as any of its percursor chemicals. And netheads be sure to check out the Planet-Mu website, which contains a load of downloadable music by Dykehouse and the rest of the label's cheerful eccentrics.

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