February 10, 2005

Optimo: How to Kill the DJ Part 2

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JG Wilkes and JD Twitch, performing under the moniker Optimo, have clearly studied the grooves of Detroit techno, the posturing of Euro-indiellectuals and the mathematical precision of recording technicians. Any album that begins by stacking clattering Funkadelic atop the German industrial pseudo-fascist band Laibach is clearly going to be provocative, even amongst the wooly, incongruous world of DJ mixes. Abrasive disco and synth-bashes blur into sedated pulsations and lo-fi new-wave; dub minimalists Basic Channel tango with house phenom Carl Craig; punk communists Gang of Four introduce a public school’s rendition of Brian Wilson; and isolation icon Steven Stapleton excoriates Blondie. The forays into punk and garage are neither convincing nor seamless (perhaps intentionally), but the electronic selections are uniformly astounding: slabs of slithering percussion, digital cinders, flaming fuselages and erratic mini-funk. By the time the Meters get buried under Brazilian psych, microhouse and falsetto proselytizing, you won’t even be lucid enough to enjoy the music. Your ears will be lost in rapturous delirium.

4 1/2 Stars

Archived article by Alex Linhardt