Skates :: Lord of The Rinks (Unschooled, CD)

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Todd Drootin (A.K.A. Books on Tape) and Melissa Dungan
(A.K.A. MQ Musik) form the quirky electro duo Skates.
Their cleverly titled debut disc Lord of The Rinks for
Unschooled consists of five short original tracks (each
with their own respective remix) featuring Drootin’s
experimental sonic mishmash of on-the-fringe hip-hop
and gritty electro that reeks of refreshing
originality, yet loses focus as Dungan’s vocal
freestyling tries too hard to reinvent the wheel on
tracks like “Trapavoid” and “Green Vans” which, to me
is a shame. It seems they have their Einar Örn, now
all they need is their Björk. Although, I can’t deny
Dungan’s poetry touched me with lines like “Life would
be to breathe in wire, and blood would be magenta
fire; Clouds of sandpaper raining glass, on wax”
“Cosmical Triggers” as well as “You saw the sparkles
came out of my eyes, it was really just glitter; And
my tears became hot ice, burning tattooed slivers”
“Train Ride.” The metallic sounds of “Chartreuse”
resemble Moloko on a slow twisty road trip through an
abandoned oil refinery, only to be remixed at the
other end by Master Cylinder, who adds a kitschy edge
with a retro flavored bubbly groove as well as bumped
up non-Nina Hagen Karaoke vocals that were muddy in
the original mix. I think this approach suits Skates
well, and if they decide to further explore its
possibilities, then they can cancel the Björk
auditions and lace up for a night out at Jammer’s
Roller Boogie dance contest.

Lord of The Rinks is out now on Unschooled Records.

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