Align Your Weird
Once Datassette gets everything in focus on the opening track of their latest EP, things are set into motion. The first track on Cagney XOR Lacey EP, “Cagney Xor Lacey (Part 1),” sounds like a PVC pipe factory was built into the Keebler Elf cookie factory. There are so many seemingly random choices being made, but the overall feeling is that all these wacky parts move in the same direction. There’s something natural about this EP; one of the layers sounds like a stream running over rocks. The various vocal quips and chirps flutter and fall like chickens coming down from their roost. Amidst all of the electronic elements, there is something that feels natural, like a scene from a Frost poem..
Things get a bit more cohesive on “Helvetica Calcium.” Synths fall in and out of tune amid what sounds like a very talented empty-glass-bottle-percussionist adding lightness to the more traditional electronic beat. What this song really does is surprise you. Not like when your sister would jump out from behind a corner and yell “Boo!”, but like when you’ve been so engrossed in something you forget to breathe and you find yourself taking one big breath to bring yourself back to reality. Cagney XOR Lacey EP‘s plethora of random chimes and sounds effectively and pleasantly brings you out of the hypnosis that Datassette creates.
“Vacuform” is the shortest of the four songs and the most influenced by the electronica of yore. It sounds like what the early 1960s thought the 2000s would sound like: a driving beat, 8-bit sounds, and a British woman drolly saying, “32.” If you listen closely, you can almost hear George Jetson get sucked under a space treadmill.
“Cagney Xor Lacey (Part 2)” takes us back to that strange Keebler space-farm. The cowbell rattles throughout as synthetic horns crescendo and fade out sharply. The familiar elements allow “Part 2” to finish what “Part 1” started, bringing all of this to a uniform end. Datassette has provided us with a brief look into what he’s capable of. He creates a soundtrack that the listener is encouraged to build on, perhaps not musically, but to be used as a backdrop to help you get all your wackiness moving in the same direction.