Lesser - Tigerbeat Houseparty Series Vol. 1
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Lesser
Tigerbeat Houseparty Series Vol. 1

Geeks in the house throw your joysticks in the air! And wave them like you just don't care! Despite the somewhat cheesy sounding disc title, this nearly hourlong disc is not quite what you'd expect from a disc with the title of "houseparty." By this time, though, most people who've dealt with Tigerbeat6 as a label probably realize that as a whole, they're not exactly ones to do what is typical, so it's a pretty good match. Although this release is attributed to "DJ Brotha P Touch," the man behind the controls is J Lesser, and he wants to get some dorks dancing.

As a touring member of Matmos, a former member of a brutal Metallica cover band, and the man behind tons of different releases in a fairly short amount of time (including a 12-hour MP3 CD that contains nearly 10 years worth of output and the hit-or-miss Gearhound), Lesser is one of those artists who's serious one minute and laughing at you the next. Packaged in a cardboard slipcase adorned with 8-bit porn graphics (think Leisure Suit Larry, if anyone gets my reference) and is actually a mix disc of electronic music created with an 20 year old sound technology.

Invented in 1981 by Robert Yannes, the SID (Sound Interface Device) 6581 chip was developed for the Commodore 64, and that's the very technology that this released is based upon. With 3 tone oscillators and very limited sampling capability, this disc takes the skronkiest of old-school sounds and twists them into a thumping mix disc worthy of a backdrop for your favorite MAME emulator (just in case you don't like the music for those old games). Like every piece of hardware with a fanatical following, underground music producers adopted this somewhat archaic sound production system and pushed it to the very limits, the results of which comprise the majority of this hilarious and sometimes downright inventive mix disc.

Given the somewhat limited sound sources, some of the artists on the disc have actually created some pretty damn interesting stuff. It goes from speedy techno to hip-hop deconstructions (if you can imagine that, it actually sounds cooler than you'd think) to ambient and downright gabber. The 24 individual songs on the disc have been mixed into one long track (which is pretty annoying, considering that if you don't enjoy one track, you have to fast forward instead of simply hitting the skip button) that runs just about an hour long, and given the palette of sounds, you may find yourself a bit tested by the time the disc gets into the final third (or earlier). For those with a taste of kitsch or a love for old video-games or Commodore 64, though, this thing will probably be a hilarious touch of nostalgia that could easily fuel the next LAN party in your neck of the woods. Not only that, but it's available at a bargain price, so you can use the extra money to buy even more highly caffeinated soda to keep you going through the night.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00