Mmm Betty
Betty Botox - Mmm, Betty!
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Betty Botox
Mmm, Betty!

Betty Botox is the latest re-edit project from JD Twitch from Optimo (which includes Twitch himself and JG Wilkes). Given the work that the two do together, this collection of nine tracks sounds just about like one might expect. Although it's not a mix, it collects just under a couple handfuls of hard-to-find tracks that dip into nu-disco, kraut, industrial, and electronic music, altered in some form or another by Twitch. In other words, it has all the bizarre flavor and dancefloor thumping feel of their eclectic their past mixes together.

The other thing that will become immediately apparent when listening to Mmm, Betty! is that this isn't your average, slick and shiny compilation (but by now you probably expect that from Optimo). On most of the track, there's a slight record hiss, some faint pops, and a general dirty feeling that actually adds to the appeal. "Jive Baby On A Saturday Night" by The Jellies kicks things off, and it's no audiophile setup, as a warbling bass pelvic thrusts through a crispy coating of age as shimmery keyboard glints, cracking beats and cheesy disco vocals give it all an oddly uneasy feel. "Beginning Of The Heartbreak" by Love Of Live Orchestra follows, and it's a completely different feel than when the same song appeared on the excellent Fabric mix from James Murphy and Pat Mahoney. Instead of clean and bright, here it sounds almost a half step too slow, with guitar pings that wiggle just a bit and some horn bleats that don't sound quite as joyous. Twitch switches things up, though, with a nice mix into another track from the group, and the sly number morphs into a cheery vocal-driven ending that's beautiful.

It's hard to pick standouts, because really everything on here is solid. "Boys And Girls" by Pankow is definitely worth a mention, though, as it grinds through a trashy mixture of electro, industrial, and 80s pop that's just the right mix of creepy and catchy. Elsewhere, Hawkwind's "Valium Ten" runs about a 9 out of 10 on the sleazy prog rock chart, while "Dragon Balls" by Flying Rhythms is basically one big exploration of banging percussion, with a 4/4 kick that has all kinds of polyrhythms stapled to it as it weaves through over eight minutes of relentlessness. Although the tracks here have culled from the last nearly thirty years, it's a surprisingly cohesive release. A must have for fans of Optimo, or lovers of weird, exciting music in general.

rating: 810
Aaron Coleman 2008-10-23 21:02:26