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- On Air by James Ferraro
8/10 Brian Staff review, 08 July 2011
Weirdly, I've another old-sounding synth-based album. That's four in a row. Am I mister synth-geek for the week? I don't mind remotely and I'm also quite chuffed to be the recipient of the new James (Jim) Ferraro album as this particular sometime mustachioed nutcase is normally the reserve of Business Lady and her latent retrogasmic desires. After a particularly lo-fi slice of cosmic synthery, old Jim promptly brings forth the comedy, mashing and mangling up this thing that has the aura of an old glam style tune but he transforms it into something that, whilst not sounding as disturbing and torturous as the old V/Vm pop-hacking, is still wonderfully grubby, bent-out-of-shape and warped. He continues in that impish vein, carving up the ghosts of '80s soft-rock and electro rock anthems into lo-fi aquatic, wibbling horror-core pop that Antony helpfully describes as a fucked-up cross between Buggles and Jane's Addiction. I really don't actually know whether I LIKE a lot of this guy's music but it sure is fucking interesting. His folding of buggered retro synthscapes into carefully manipulated analogue-based samples and ghostly, mangled riffs and rhythms is incredibly distinctive and innovative. He sometimes has me dreaming of doing dangerous psychoactive substances in the back room of a noisy, dusty midwest video arcade whilst a half-broken telly plays old cartoons on a fuzzy screen. Not many artists put those images in my head but this daft chump does so he must be commended. I personally much prefer the trippier, murky synth stuff to the retro trash-humping and random silliness but it all beautifully fits together like a fascinating aural collage nonetheless. He really creates this deep psychotropic mood on those particular tracks which moves me greatly, I need to get involved more methinks...
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