Datach'i

  • Datach'i - Mmale And Ffemale

    Reviewed by Martin Turenne (Grooves Mag (No.13))

    Datach'i - Mmale And Ffemale

    Datach'i is a hard name to type. Go, try it: boot up your copy of Microsoft Word and try spelling out Joseph Fraioli's alias. Maddeningly, Bill Gates' baby will automatically capitalize the last letter of the name, forcing you to scroll back, delete the offendin vowel, and re-type it. Just as his moniker is hard to spell, so is Datachi'i's music hard to grasp. Coming from a man who's hurtled his way through venues wearing a Mexican wrestling mask, Fraioli tunes don't so much invite exploration as they do demand it.
    Datach'i is a hard name to type. Go, try it: boot up your copy of Microsoft Word and try spelling out Joseph Fraioli's alias. Maddeningly, Bill Gates' baby will automatically capitalize the last letter of the name, forcing you to scroll back, delete the offendin vowel, and re-type it. Just as his moniker is hard to spell, so is Datachi'i's music hard to grasp. Coming from a man who's hurtled his way through venues wearing a Mexican wrestling mask, Fraioli tunes don't so much invite exploration as they do demand it.
    "I want to attack the audience, " says Fraioli, reached at his Brooklyn home. "I've played in a lot of punk bands, so I'm stuck with this aggressive mentality. I can't even Dj because I just want to wreck everything."
    Wrecking everything has proven a fruitful tactic for the lifelong New Yorker, who first started ripping apart synthesizers as a teenager. Those initial experiments eventually led to the production of his debut album, 1999's 10110101 = (Rec+Play) on Caipirinha, a late-era drill n' bass workout pieced together from the genre's staples: triple-time snare rushes, frantic sonar pulses, and leacening synth passages. On 2000's 'We Are Always Well Thank You' (also on Caipirinha), Fraioli pared down the chaos, engaging in a considered study of life at the margins of coherence, a place where music-box melodies dangled precariously aboce a dank polyrhythmic abyss.
    With his latest effort, 'MMale and FFemale' (Planet-Mu), the producer has burrowed further into the code, sifting through ones and zeroes to discover sounds heretofore unheard. According to Fraioli, his working methods depend on constantly overhauling his environment. "I can't shake my bad habit of breaking electronics," he says. "I have three computers at home that are fried and a couple of keyboards that won't work anymore. With each new record, I like to work with a new process; switching up equipment is a good way to do that."\
    For the time being, Frailoi has taken up arms in the laptop brigade, pushing programs like Reaktor and Super Collider to their respective limits. Those experiments have yielded the producer's best results to date, for while his previous albums proved Datach'i to be a gifted sound designer, 'MMale and FFemale' finds him flexing rare compositional flair, especially on "I'm Not Afraid To Watch You Die," a lustrous piece which uses the 12-inch as it's template complete with an ambient intro, an ascendant rhythmic progression, and a harsh breakdown edit.
    "Plainphhield" finds Fraioli laying a choral chant over splattercore breaks, magnifying the corporeal/spiritual divide to literally moving effect. Asked to explain his relationship with New York City, the producer avers that he's got a slight streak of Travis Bickle in him. "It's hard to be in an extreme environent," he says. "When you're someone with a certain amount of morals who's living in a society without morals, it gives a feeling of distance, a feeling of isolation."
    That isolation is most gloriously audible on "Intercoursing," which, with its rippling metallic percussion and incantatory echoes, sounds like it was recorded in an abandoned cathedral, an encironment Fraioli finds ideal. "I like to use silence to make all the remaining sounds more intense," he says. "If you look at the wave forms of Kraftwerk's music, there's a lot of space there, and that's part of what made them so great."
    More comfortable talking about the way music looks rather than the way it sounds, Datach'i belongs to that new breed of artists composing music for the mind's eye as well as its ear. That's a more radical reinvention of musical psychology than all the upgrades in the world.

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