(rec + play)
It’s harder than it sounds. Comedy is the most difficult type of acting, because it requires impeccable timing and a straight face. You must be totally immersed in your situation; no self-congratulatory pats on the back here. Effectively using humor in music is even tougher. To get the right mood without being flippant, you’ve got to have the discipline to stay restrained and unleash at just the right moment for maximum impact.
Joseph Fraioli was born fully formed. He was running straight out of the womb, and evidently right into a music store. (rec + play) is his debut release, and on it, he shows that he has the skills to meticulously piece together a fantastic record.
Playing the humor card on an electronic album can get you in a world of trouble. It’s far to easy to overuse kitsch and to make your work seem glib and without substance. One can only endure so many kung fu and horror movie samples. To make humor work, you must exude just the right amount of playfulness, but back it up with layers of sound. It’s got to be more than a novelty. This is just what Datach’i does. Fraioli can use bright tinkling synths and spine shattering beats because he has an innate understanding of placement, and can fit those two ill-shaped joints together.
Mixing it up always helps. It helps keep the listeners on their toes. From the dark, visceral, distorted “vcr controlled carcass” to the innocuous “take off your face,” Fraioli keeps the material together thematically, but varies the content. He’s learned a thing or two from Digital Hardcore and the Splatterbreaks crews, but distances himself from both camps. He takes from them a penchant for skittering beats and loads of fuzz, and infuses them with spirit and verve. “jaf box” features some heavily overdriven 808’s, peppered with ghostly melodies. “midnight cowpoke” samples pornography, but (thankfully) avoids hoary clichés.
It’s no mean feat to make something this potentially grating so palatable. Datach’i invokes the ghosts of Ren and Stimpy in all of their demented, insightful, and utterly brilliant glory.
Caipirinha Productions, 510 La Guardia Pl., Suite 5, New York, NY 10012; http://www.caipirinha.com