TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

DJ Earl - Repeat Offender
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Since JLin* did the blitzkrieg bop on its spasming, grief-stricken soul back in 2015, footwork has been going quietly round the bend ('bypassing the mainstream' is an inaccuracy laden with pejorative connotations too numerous to list). Sure, sporadic transmissions from outliers such as Cuenique certainly kept the faithful bewildered, but above and below the scenes, the usual suspects have been playing an in-house game so cryptic, the Observer could have printed it in grid form under Jonathan Crowther's Azed byline. Don't get them wrong, there were goodies galore if you knew where to look (Taso, for example, couldn't have been busier) but (so I'm told) the question still remains; is there Teklife on ... ?**

Former Rashad Harden protégé DJ Earl tends to let his jukebox do the talking, but if you're interested (and if not, why?), the title of his latest EP says everything and nothing about this enigmatic deckhand (that he offends without repeating himself is only my interpretation; feel free to come up with one of your own). And the music (all 9 minutes, 25 seconds of it!) I couldn't possibly interpret/quantify/compartmentalise something so blissfully nebulous but if you think you could, what the fuck are you reading this for? Just for the record though, this is how it surges through me:

  1. Smoke and Mirrors - I'm riding a freight trash elevator to a gas giant far away; a 'place' where foot has jettisoned work, drum doesn't need bass and dancing takes place in a vacuum. No need to worry about that yet though, there's a cyberpunk jingle I need to wolf whistle first...
  2. Digital Perception - Make that a cyberpink jungle. No mangrove swamps in this neck of the cosmos though. The synth-Triffids have blinded them with their own science. I can hide but I can't run. Which might just turn out to be an advantage...
  3. Fear Chaos Realized - You can say that again. I'd rather you didn't though; this is my creepshow. An unscheduled sleepover within the tart, iridescent dust-halos of the Crab Nebula. I mustn't exhale though. It might get me noticed and those pincers simply gleam with pathos...
  4. Repeat Offender?? - Sanguineous Sheol, I know this song. It's "Frankie Teardrop" without the Suicide. I don't remember the diabolical ticking of that caesium clock though (anyone for menace?). Martin, Rev up and get the Alan Vega out of here. Me, John? I'm only glancing (**)

* Oh, and by the way, the aforementioned genius of Detroit is about to unveil a new prototype. "Dark Lotus" is due to effloresce in late February, and if that doesn't drive a burning Chevy through your soul, her ruinously anticipated sophomore album "Black Origami" surely won't either.

** David Bowie? Oh man, if you're still wondering if he'll ever know, you never knew him in the first place.

9/10 after 25 listens

DJ Earl - Repeat Offender