Wednesday, 29th March 2017. 9:16:51am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Experimental, IDM, Glitch Atarimatt vs. Great Unwashed Luminaries- I Was a Teenage Metalhead


ARTIST: Atarimatt vs. Great Unwashed Luminaries

ALBUM: I Was a Teenage Metalhead

LABEL: SinkHole Texas, Inc.

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 3-1-09

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Two producers of hardcore retro-style electronics team up on this delightful little EP, offering two new tracks and a remix each. Atarimatt, as is only befitting for an artist with such a moniker, plays music using vintage videogame equipment, and he manages to wring a surprising amount of complexity out of devices long considered obsolete. "The Electric Monsters" is deliberately primitive with its tinnily snapping beat and crunchy bleeps, but it communicates as real a sense of jangled nerves as you'd get playing into the high levels on your favorite '80s-era arcade game when you're down to your last quarter. The wonderfully titled "Space Squid Shakedown" is even more impressive, starting off with low-fi breakbeats and videogame noises but slowly building into a multi-layered arrangement of distorted melodies that feels like nothing so much as a Richard D. James or Mike Paradinas composition re-imagined through decades-old technology. Great Unwashed Masses' work is less purely rooted to early arcade game sounds, but he nonetheless takes an old-school approach; "Body Rocking" has an old-school electro flair, with the title phrase repeated through primitive vocoder effects, while "Silence Sea and Sky" is mellower, a quasi-ambient composition delivered over a hissing analog drum pattern for an effect that's almost soothing. Finishing things off are two remixes of the previously unreleased Atarimatt track, "Commuter." Both versions feature samples from cult sci-fi flick Logan's Run, but where Atarimatt's "Logan 5 Remix" is techno gone 8-bit, Great Unwashed Masses again takes a more ambient approach, with slow industrial beats reverberating beneath brooding synthesizer pads. While the two producers' styles do differ to a certain degree, their sensibilities are similar enough to make this a cohesive if all-too-brief release sure to be appreciated by fans of experimental electronic music's more playful side, especially those who remember the heyday of games like Centipede and Asteroids.

Visit the two artists' MySpace pages at www.myspace.com/atarimatt and www.myspace.com/greatunwashedluminaries for more information and to hear samples of their music.


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