Rafter - Sweaty Magic EP
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Sweaty Magic EP

At this point in the game there's no denying that Rafter Roberts makes pop music for the short attention spanned. His previous two albums Music For Total Chickens and Sex Death Cassette found him slamming together short nuggets of hyper-melodic music with goofy vocals in ways that were increasingly shiny, and this newest EP just finds him continuing the process.

With one-word titles like "Noise," "Juicy," "Sassy," and "Sweat," this short release is also his most unapologetically party-based. It's sort of like a schizophrenic medium-fidelity producer channeling Midnite Vultures-era Beck or Jamie Lidell if he decided to crack his tracks off into even shorter bursts of noisy funk. In many ways, it has the signatures of past releases from Rafter, except everything here is simply more obvious and quite a bit louder. Opener "Noise" sounds like the mix is completely off, with overdriven horn blasts over chunky beats, rambling guitar, electronic blips, and soft vocals. "Magic" is even more over-the-top, with mastering that sounds like someone fell asleep at the board (with everything in the red) and huge orchestral hits and guitar riffs that bounce off goofy beats.

Part booty, part rave, and completely random, the seven songs (and eighteen minutes) that make up the Sweaty Magic EP are ultimately burdened by the same thing that has dragged down past releases from Rafter. While the hooks are certainly great in places, it jumps from place to place so quickly that there's never anything for the ear and brain to go back to. In that sense, this short release probably works better than the longer full lengths, as it presents a quick-and-dirty does of spastic music that slaps you upside the head and then runs away. The most successful songs on the release are when things slow down a bit during the final two tracks, but by then you feel like you've been worn-out a bit. Depending on your viewpoint, though, that might be a good thing.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2008-09-04 21:10:41