Music Reviews

Wanna Buy a Craprak?

Various Artists


Wanna Buy a Craprak? is a testament to the talented roster Carpark Records has assembled. This compilation indicates why Carpark may be one of the best-kept secrets in intelligent electronic music. Although the sounds and techniques vary between artists, the defining trait all seem to share is a sense of wonder and playfulness that is infused in these tracks. The songs compiled here run a gamut of styles but none are overtly abrasive (barring Jake Mandell’s closer,” Beartrap!”). Instead, the artists reflect a measured approach that emphasizes texture and technique above sonic gimmickry. Some of the tracks meld organic elements alongside electronic bits. The opening track by Greg Davis, “Brocade” illustrates this with a gentle passage played on an acoustic guitar that is subtly manipulated and augmented with whirs and clicks and tiny beats. The acoustic theme is picked up again by Ogurusu Norihide’s stellar track “5:00.” Norihide accompanies the guitar’s melody with a piano and a studied manipulation of the track. Also, fans of hrvatski will not be disappointed with his “Equinox.” A piece that builds from an acoustic guitar and endless permutations until it concludes with a full on electronic freak out.

Of course, not all of the tracks are ambient headpieces. Dinky understands what it takes to get the bodies moving on her track, “No Love,” an intelligent and inspired piece of electronic dance music from her forthcoming album, Black Cabaret that certainly whets ones appetite. Freescha marries a Peter Hook-inspired bass line to swashes of synths and a nice dance beat on “Live and Learn Me.” Takagi Masakatsu’s “Golden Town With Sunglasses” will also have your foot tapping. The layers of synths and background vocals evoke a passing moment watching skyscrapers bend to the breezes. Signer’s “Interior Dub” builds slowly with its languid beats and sinister texture, and serves as a perfect piece to stalk someone down a dark passage.

Wanna Buy a Craprak? is an inexpensive introduction to some fine electronic artists. These thirteen tracks, many of which are exclusives, serve as a fine introduction to one of the best labels around. Also, check out the four Quicktime videos accompanying this release. Marumari’s video “Way in the Middle of the Air” alone is worth the price of the release.

Carpark Records:

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