Someone Else - Pen Caps And Colored Pencils
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Someone Else
Pen Caps And Colored Pencils

Someone Else is the moniker of Philadelphia's Sean O'Neal, a fellow who has released several acclaimed EPs over the course of the past couple years, and has managed to do a huge number of high-profile remixes in the same time period. Pen Caps And Colored Pencils is his debut release and it marks him as a young artist who has enough of a unique sound to set himself apart from the crowd as he's coming into his own.

Although his dance music tends to run to the minimal side in that each track has plenty of space to breath, his tracks are also filled with a slew of quirky micro-samples and a winking sense of humor. O'Neal isn't afraid to sample his own voice on the release, and he makes an appearance in almost every track, albeit in a chopped and/or distorted way that adds only a slight bit of melody or another rhythmic element. In places, (like the percolating, minimal house of "Hedroom Eyes"), his work slightly resembles the robo-thump of older work from Matthew Dear, with a bit more junk in the trunk.

In other places, his chopped-up vocal bits and weird electronic glurps and bursts sound something like a slightly less ADD version of Akufen. Opener "Lowdown Brittle" is a perfect example, with a few unbroken spoken-word samples breaking through the otherwise fractured, jumpy, funky track that slaps with another juicy bass line and enough percussive elements to turn a dancefloor into all knees and elbows. "Peaches And Steam" (and the nicely-titled "Pooty Call") both dip into sort of a growling, clicky house feel that also ooze with a clear heavy-breathing dose of sexual energy.

The major weakness with Pen Caps And Colored Pencils is also one of its strengths. There's not a dud on the release in terms of tracks and production, but at the same time there's very little variety too. Over the course of twelve tracks and almost seventy-five minutes, the release runs together in a big way (especially considering the BPM doesn't vary too much either). I don't follow the DJ set like I used to, but I simply can't imagine that tracks from this release won't be making the playlists on a slew of sets this summer. For casual listening, it's a bit overwhelming and uniform, but it cranks nicely, and if you're a fan of any of the above it's worth checking out.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2007-07-12 19:57:43