Spells Disaster
Crackhaus - Spells Disaster
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Spells Disaster

Originally released back in 2004, Spells Disaster is a disc that mixes techno with touches of microhouse and a big sense of humor. It's repetitive and thumping, with long tracks that sound like they were built much more for the dancefloor than casual listening, and finds the duo of Stephen Beaupre and Scott Monteith sampling everything from country hoe-downs to soul on their way to creating their slapstick dance tracks.

"Accidentally Brilliant" opens the album with a goofy sample of someone explaining random events, and before you know it, the duo has chopped the same sample into a hundred pieces and sprinkled it into a minimal, rumbler of a house track where the original sample provides the only melodic element (while it jumps all over the place rhythmically). Whereas "Hee Haw On See Saw" is close to downright goofy, "I Like It Like That" couples a smooth guitar riff with a gurgling bass and more clippy, crunchy beats.

Along with having one of the best titles on the disc, "Smashee Smasheee!!!" might also be the best musically, mingling some techy bass grunts with jumpy bursts of filtered harmonica and more percolating beats that dash and grab in all the right places. "Soggy Bottom Bass" also isn't afraid to grab some melodic lines that sound like they were pulled from a harmonica, but with their judicious use of filtering and some seriously juicy rhythms they manage to escape the cringe factor.

The name of the album may very well be a reference to the perceived notion of sampling country music in any sort of dance music (especially after after the hick disaster of "Cotton Eyed Joe" by the Red Nex), but like Matmos, People Like Us, and Wobbly on Wide Open Spaces, they've managed to bend the sounds to their own will, creating some fun, gut-rumbling techno in the process. This re-released version of the album contains a bonus four remixes by artists like Egg and The Mole, so those who didn't snag it the first time around have even more incentive now.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2006-06-08 20:31:26