Datassette :: People Without Mouths EP (Shipwrec)

Ostensibly, this four tracker is a heavyweight electro record, but it spins off the genre in a number of delightful, disparate directions that clearly signpost the number of ideas still knocking around in J.M. Davies’ head.

Ferdinand Maks’ Dutch Shipwrec label continues its voyage through the annals of playful electro(nic) music with a new and appropriately varied four track EP from Datassette, doubtless best known for his eponymous debut LP on Ai Records back in 2008. Ostensibly, this four tracker is a heavyweight electro record, but it spins off the genre in a number of delightful, disparate directions that clearly signpost the number of ideas still knocking around in J.M. Davies’ head.

“Videohorse” kicks the EP off in style with caffeine-high Toytronic bleeps, fizzing fx, churning church organ and turbo-Plaid melodies, though it disappoints a little towards the end as it doesn’t quite deliver melodically on the promise of the superb first few minutes of build up. The title track sports Clear Records-era funk elements and slurring, Kettel-esque acid strings with a touch of distorted, commercial dubstep “wub wub wub” thrown in for good measure. At the other end of the spectrum, “Don’t” hums and purrs with latent energy, electrostatic keys zither and a vocal snippet that echoes through hip-hop grooves that echo back to the days of Neo Ouija, Hydrogen Dukebox and M3rck. Finally, “Power Ballad” goes full-on eighties electro, all plucked electric guitar, chunky bass, clonking beats and scalding synth strings for a truly retro finish.

This addictive little collection of tracks is all over far too quickly and one is left wanting more from the good Datassette—always a good sign. Shipwrec have consistently delivered the fun element in their releases (for example the superb cover version of Joy Division’s “Lost Control” on the label’s debut release by MVDV right the way through to a presumably Family Guy inspired pastiche of “Surfin’ Bird” on the forthcoming Gotterdammerung EP)—and EPs don’t get much more fun than People Without Mouths which proves to be amusing but never silly, stylistically broad, sensitively produced and nicely understated.

People Without Mouths is available on Shipwrec. Buy at Clone shop.

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