Monday, December 10, 2012

WORTH IT IN 2012: #31 - Todd Terje

Todd Terje
It's the Arps
(Smalltown Supersound)

As luck would have it, the Singles Jukebox just reviewed the lead song off this mini-album, and I in no way finagled my list to make them come up at the same time, so just skedaddle that thought from your conspiracy-minded tinfoil-covered head. Here's my little fanboy take on "Inspector Norse":

After digging this song for the better part of 2012, it only now occurs to me that “Inspector Norse”, like the rest of the It’s the Arps EP, touches the most private place in my soul — by which I mean my ‘80s Genesis obsession. We’re talking hours, probably cumulative weeks, spent zoning out or journaling to (in order of acquisition) AbacabInvisible Touch, and Genesis cassettes, memorizing the lengths of the two different percussion breaks in “Keep It Dark,” writing nascent crit explaining how “Second Home By the Sea” is “filler, sad to say, but not unlistenable,” drawing entirely unreasonable conclusions about illegal aliens and Brazilians. So now I’m gritting my teeth trying to figure out where I’ve heard Tony Banks using this lead ARP sound before. Maybe it’s an attack thing and not a timbrel thing, the little vibrato poinnnng whenever Terje hits a note? It’s like a mole on your back that you can’t see, am I right?

And here's what I said at Sheep & Goats:

This 21 minute ode to a very special vintage synthesizer feels tossed off, but in the way Picasso would toss off a charcoal drawing. Terje’s ARPs draw clear melodic lines and speak hi-NRG truths: that laser fire always sounds cool, for instance, or that sparkly arpeggios will always tug the heartstrings of a certain demographic. Of the four songs, only “Myggsommer” flirts with kitsch. The others briskly pile up their sonic tricks, transforming bouncy basslines into shimmering chords before plunging you into dark regions of previously unexplored space. Try “Swing Star (pt1)”, a lovely bliporama-turned-motorik that might sound like actual swinging on a star, only without any heat, pain, or suffocating void.

Way better than Azaelia Banks's 1991 (except for "212", that song's dope).

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