Todd Drootin creates/constructs material from loops, whether sampled or self-created, into a dancing dramatic techno. The first time I listened, a bit fragmented, it seemed somewhat monochrome, but subsequent excursions have shown it to be a fun filled time.
Laptop Blues opens with a short guitar strum loop that wobbles from ear to ear and then varispeeds away. We get really going with Republic Of setting the tone and structure - varied loops, percussive and melodic (including guitar), layered onto each other crackles and changes, slowing and returning and slowing right back. This has a jolly rhythms that reminded me of the Clash in its dubby sections. They returned later on Girls Up Front where the fast samples drums and loops with a strong bass, recalled Armageddon time. With See You In Tokyo there is a building percussion from simple tap, plus cymbal, bass, snare and organ to a fast beachy sound that is part B-52’s rest sci-fi weirdness, emphasised through some changes.
The album then goes through all sorts of moods with these tracks - She’s Dead To Me is fast and furious (a few are) gunge with strong drums; Pointe du pied has a popcorn feel but slower, simple synth melodies, finally a bit dubby; white noise pulses , organs and synth sound Russian in Death In the Sex Shop and there is a continuing Cossack feel with Siberian Soundsystem that also includes some wailing voices amongst the layers; jangly samples, voice loops rubbery and stomping Circus Animal Battle Rap (instrumental). The mood changes with Frisson a slower backward toney more ambient track that has some distorted and spooky elements to it, followed by a more dirty and rocking Bicycle Beat, pulsing and crackling after which Shake That is somehow more “studied”, slower with voice loops and slowing tones, trumpet and drum. The pace rebuilds for the clarinet-drenched The Crucial a long and involved piece moving through a few states and chopping in organ and piano. Unlucky Bounce is solid with some dirty guitar and a piano melody over computer bootling. Choppy and slippery Sidekick is followed by the buzzing and sinuous Church Bus whose heavy rhythms close the album.
A fun excursion, worth reading.