Hypo Karaoke Acappella Review

Album. Released 2002.  

BBC Review

Frenchman Anthony Keyeux (aka Hypo) delivers deconstructed electronica that doesn't...

Olli Siebelt 2002

Having already made a name for himself in his native France, Hypo's Anthony Keyeux is another card carrying member of the IDM establishment who is (and rightly so) distancing himself from the growing cacaphony of glitch and MAX/MSP processed artists out there.

Whereas most of the bald headed laptop contingent take themselves very seriously, Keyeux likes to deconstruct pop music with a smartarse sense of humour and a taste for the ridiculous. We saw this playfulness on his debut full length "Kodva" on Spymania where he recklessly threw together deep pastiches of layered guitars and glitched out ambience with casiotone beats and melodies that sounded like the kind of stuff you did on your sister's keyboard when you were eight years old.

Karaoke A Cappella isn't a full length album as such; it's a compilation of previous appearances and collaborations from the past two years. There's a strong interplay with Japanese artists here which has defintely shaped the overall Keyeux sound. Whereas most would sit content with a dull grey slab of skittering tracks, collaborators like Reiko Underwater (whose recent tribute album to Aliyah on Tsunami Addiction is not to be missed), Sawako and Michiko Kusaki really bring a playful childlike quality to these tracks.

Sounding like a strange cross between V/Vm, Fennesz and a warped Spiritualized CD that was recorded underwater, Keyeux and his merry compatriots mix both tweaked out and distorted samples and clever and often beautiful original material in a package that is experimental, poppy and downright catchy. Check the lovely cello that sneaks into your right speaker on "Something Might Break", where it sits beautifully atop some bouncy 8-bit Casiocore beats, or the absolutely gorgeous My Bloody Valentine sounding "Nice Day" featuring Michiko Kusaki.

Along with other up and coming French labels like Clapping Hands, Aspic and Optical Sound, there's a little scene growing in the Gallic heartland these days, taking on a playful glitchy interpretation of modern electronica in a way that only they can. For those of you into this crazy post-IDM world of cut-and-paste songwriting, DSP filtering and laptop tomfoolery, may we humbly suggest checking this out at once - there's something here for pretty much everybody and we're sure it will leave you with a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

Vive La France!

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