Friday, October 22, 2010

You Are Not All Boring - Pixelated Getaway [Boring Tapes]

Pixelated Getaway is the debut release for both You Are Not All Boring, a project of Jason Boyko, and the label Boring Tapes. Boyko provides nine instrumentals that mostly throwback to 80s new wave mixed in with a hefty love of ska and reggae as well.
"Riding Mowers" kicks off with a mechanical buzz and some birdcalls before launching into a no-holds-barred cheeseball synth/snare/bongo ditty. It's not until a theremin-esque keyboard lead enters that the jam really hits its stride. The jams rolls along in that mode for a while before leaving that theremin lead by its lonesome, ending things on an eerie note. "Lagging" recalls an old video game soundtrack (a la Streets of Rage) by way of Miami Vice and Duran Duran. Serious forward momentum based on a circular melody, heavy synth toms and some cool lead lines. One of the better songs on display. "Miles" continues the vibe with a mellow laidback groove. At least until a fluttering sequenced melody kicks in. "Island" takes the tempo up another notch with repeated synth-bass line and dubby organ stabs. And then the track goes OFF with this wiggling, warbly synth-xylophone solo! Totally rad. (Also really dig the rustling drum machine backing it up as well.) Then Boyko takes it up another notch doubling the long, sinewy melody with organ. The drum machine gets thicker and the jam grows more and more bad ass. Great piece of work, good use of dynamics, instrumentation and just a real sweet melody too. "Evil Electronics" closes out the side, with another xylophone melody and a crunk snare and clap pattern. An ominous bass throb earns the track its title. Halfway between the score of an 80s horror movie and a club groove. It would be great piece to accompany one of those bad-trip-in-the-dance-club scenes. Way too short dude.
Side B starts off with "Physical Dimension" flips the script with a 4-on-the-floor disco jam. Focused on an excellent clipped vocal melody, almost more akin to a siren, it hits all the classic disco marks continually ramping up the energy. Boyko even drops in the syncopated synth stabs at the end, wearing his dub influence on his sleeve. "Cruiser" is another favorite, a super cheesy dub ditty. My mind is flooded with memories of the early 90s, Ace of Base, the rainy, trashy beach stage of the aforementioned Streets of Rage video game and so on. There are a handful of fantastic synth melodies all intermingling making for another bout of excellent listening. "Ska Synthesizer" is similar but sped-up almost to a vaguely country rhythm. After Boyko launches the main keyboard melody all thoughts of country music dissipate as he layers on more slot machine synth. "Last Light" wraps the tape up. It's another good one incorporating all the elements you've come to know and love throughout the tape, heavy dub rhythms, creepy theremin-styled tones, a long stringy melody all played with a light, carefree touch. A perfect way to end the tape.
Overall, it's a pretty darn fun tape if maybe a touch on the long side. You do have to be a person who can stomach plastic-y instrumentation to appreciate it, but there's lots to love and groove to in this collection. And though lots of people are starting to get back into 80s dance grooves, Mr. Boyko is carving his own niche with that serious ska obsession.
The tape is limited to a scant 25 copies, though it looks to still be in print. Ch-ch-check it out.

No comments: