The Rip Off Artist Pet Sounds Review

BBC Review

More experimental techno fun from Los Angeles courtesy of the rather wonderful...

Olli Siebelt 2003

After casting its eye on Scandinavia and South London, UK label extraordinaire Vertical Form recently cast a gaze at the west coast of the United States for this latest release, and it's well worth a look.

The fifth long player from ex-oilrig operator and Los Angeles resident Matt Haines follows a similar road already traveled by the likes of Marcus Nicolai, Akufen and Jan Jelinek. The journey here is all about uptempo Detroit influenced techno, laden with more off-beat samples that you can shake a stick at.

We hit the play button and before long "Babydrop" and "Meat We Shall Eat" have swarmed into our speakers, kick drums scattering the filtered samples around like leaves on a windy day. This is cut and paste house music with attitude; music both for the body and the brain. But just when you think the album will continue in such fashion, it deviates into even more interesting territory.

"So Much For That" slows down the tempo and throws in what seems to be clinking wine glasses and a scratched record into the funk blender. Then Hainesgets all schizophrenic on us,taking us through many different timbres ("Frogs From My Blender" sounds very Berlin/Pole-esque) while keeping a strong upbeat feel the whole way through.

If one had to fault anything on Pet Sounds it's Haines' failed attempts to run into the commercial dance arena. By adding rather cheesy vocals to "Sizzle Spot" and "This is Static", he cheapens the ride a little bit, opting for tackiness in an otherwise credible and stylish journey. However, the rest of the tracks (even ones that are only around a minute or so long) have so much punch that they easily gloss over any of the flat spots on this little 15 track gem, and all this from a guy who used to work on an oil rig. A record guaranteed to get you shakin'!

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