Dusted Reviews

Pixeltan / J.O.Y. - "Get Up/Say What (DFA Remix)" / "Get Up" / "That's the Way I Like It" , "Sunplus" / "Sunplus (DFA Remix)"

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Artist: Pixeltan / J.O.Y.

Album: "Get Up/Say What (DFA Remix)" / "Get Up" / "That's the Way I Like It" , "Sunplus" / "Sunplus (DFA Remix)"

Label: DFA

Review date: Sep. 29, 2004

Backbeat automatons Tim Goldsworthy and James Murphy continue to alchemize their replicant thump issued in 12-inch chunks via the duo’s DFA imprint. With the exception of in-house astral spelunkers Black Dice, the DFA stable largely remains on course for continuous exploratory drilling to the mirrorball’s diamond core. As such, the label’s latest progress report comes in two parts.

Fellow chemically altered Gothamites Pixeltan return from slumber with a three-tiered platter of art-funk. Reunited with drummer Hisham Bharoocha – whose exit from the aforementioned BD left that group synth-addled to flutter in the fractal cosmos on this year’s controversial Creature Comforts — chief oscillator Devin Flynn and vocalist Mika Yoneta lead-in with the careening call-to-arms “Get Up/Say What (DFA Remix).” A writhing muffled arpeggio chugs atop Bharoocha’s muscular metronome as Yoneta, voice cast into the echoplex, growls, shrieks and implores over the communal throb. Goldsworthy and Murphy enhance the near techno vibe with etherized glazing and android trills. But even without the honchos’ twiddling, the three-minute shorn “Get Up” is itself an able, calibrated trance. The longest-seeming though shortest cut is closer “That’s the Way I Like It.” Adding a distorted bass snarl and shifty rhythm adjustments to the A-side’s template, the balance between shrill avant antics and computheque glide is dumped for a spastic stumble.

A more complex product comes from Japan’s J.O.Y. (K.U.D.O. and Ken Takagi) who together with pink robot combatant and Boredoms/OOIOO screecher Yoshimi P-We deliver “Sunplus.” Originally released on Ape Sounds, the record outpost of streetwear fixture A Bathing Ape, it glues No Wave chicken-scratch, sugar-high Amon Düül II freeform incantations, unhinged disco mutations plus funhouse organ riffs and assorted modular squiggles to a frantic groove. Under DFA’s stewardship, the flipside mix slims down the track and steadies it on a post-punk gallop pocked with caustic twinges. Eschewing Pixeltan’s visceral immediacy for a tangled net of raucous references, J.O.Y. invent where their self-conscious Yankee cohorts represent.

Regardless whether they’ll end up spinning on the domestic turntable or professional decks, these two slabs of DFA-sanctioned bump investigation show promising signs of continued lateral growth. Carefully stacking their portfolio with variant fatback strains of electronic meditation, there’s nowhere left for DFA to go but public.

By Bernardo Rondeau

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