Part Timer - Part Timer
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Part Timer
Part Timer

One half of the UK-based electronic group Clickits, John McCaffrey has now gone solo under the name Part Timer. His self-titled debut is a downcast collection of tracks that blend electronic programming and filtered organic instrumentation in a way that many have done before. It's not as filtered as someone like Fennesz or Tim Hecker, but not completely straightforward either, cracking with tape hiss, effects, and other elements that make it feel a bit worn from age.

The compositions on the release are also very loop-based, with short bits of instrumentation playing out again and again as different layers are brought in and out of the mix. It's music for quiet times, without any big dramatic builds or otherwise harsh moments, flickering like back porch music for the twenty-first century. After a short opening track of acoustic guitar and quiet textural elements, "We Made A Big Mistake" follows and ends up being one of the best tracks on the entire release. Moving with only quiet loops of slightly damaged guitar, soft electronics, and some sparse bass, the track is made even more nice with breathy vocals from Nicola Hodgkinson of Empress.

From there, the album hits a less interesting stride. "Daytona" lopes along with the same vinyl-static crackled loops of acoustic guitar and backwards piano loops for almost four minutes, while "My Friend" again loops a slightly-filtered acoustic guitar loop for nearly the entirety of the song as some string bows and sparkling electronic bits sprinkle across the top of it.

With a bit of a skeletal dub feel and some more female vocals, "It Only Means" is another standout on the short release, but . Unfortunately, the tracks (along with several others) never really go much of anywhere, playing out similar moods over and over again with the same sort of weary, semi lo-fi kiss production style. It's all very pretty, and there's certainly more offensive music being made, but if you're looking for something that will grab your attention a little more, this one might instead cause narcolepsy.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2007-01-18 20:59:00