Listeners are Android Genius's playthings. He toys with sensory experiences in the same manner mischievous scientists experiment with poor, unsuspecting rodents. Imagine a bright white, pink-eyed PetSmart-purchased mouse donning ear buds traveling in a circular maze. Hypothesis: the mouse will only make it to its destination if Android Genius permits it; otherwise, the experience will induce moderate conniption fits and nervous breakdowns. Pan left and analog plucks momentarily appear only to vanish before the next phrase. Pan right and the theme emerges and carries it along until a trap beat brings it to halt. Terrified, not knowing what to do, it simply gives in and succumbs to the full experience.
Songs of feigned innocence litter mtns, Android Genius's most recent E.P. "King of Hyrule" is a tongue-in-cheek homage to "Wind Waker Farewell Hyrule King" from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker video game. A kind of humor emerges from the track--an announcement that electronic music doesn't have to take itself so seriously. The video game's version creates an ominous mood; Android Genius manufactures head-bobbing gratitude and appreciation for a well-crafted game and a brilliant soundtrack.
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"Les Dents Enfants" unleashes the 808's and trap hats with a feverish fury. One dizzying beat after the next with rolling arpeggios that conjure demure images of small children sitting in a dentist's chair during their laughing gas dreams, the track evolves into an unfinished conceptual amusement park ride. Android Genius provides few turning points in his compositions. Perhaps the drop never comes because he suspects that the listener anticipates one to occur. Even the screams in the end draw a puzzling expression: for what purpose where they placed if nothing climatic ever happened?
A singular treasure comes at exactly the right time. Houston has a 2 a.m. anthem while riding home in its gritty streets of lower Westheimer: "Garbanzo". The melody rolls slowly into the narrow lanes. The beat slows in anticipation of the timed traffic lights. Yellow turns to red and stopping for it provokes reflection on those perfect nights that one wished would never end. "Garbanzo" frames the instances that will be forgotten in the days to follow, yet at the same time stands as a reminder that many more memorable moments are just around the corner.
For music to have more imagination, it needs to avoid seriousness, to embrace playfulness, and starve itself from audience validation. As listeners, the audience needs to avoid neat categorizations, to eliminate high expectations, and to strip godhood from artists. Android Genius possesses the imagination necessary to appeal to a changing audience. The four songs on mtns clearly demonstrate a movement toward more maddening mischief awaiting his future subjects for his next experiment.
Go forth to listen and download here.