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Max Graef/Glenn Astro: The Yard Work Simulator [Digipak] *

Track List

>Intro
>Where the Fuck Are My Hard Boiled Eggs?!
>Money $ex Theme
>Yard Work Simulator, The
>Flat Peter
>China Nr. 04
>W313D
>Magic Johnson [Album Mix] - (remix)
>Jumbo Frosnapper
>Viktor's Blues

Album Notes

The first collaborative full-length by Berlin-based producers Max Graef and Glenn Astro is a strange trip that gleefully dismantles house music conventions. It offers a different take on the tape-damaged lo-fi house sound of labels like L.I.E.S. and The Trilogy Tapes, one that's more informed by London's broken beat scene and golden age hip-hop production. They seem to be having the time of their lives picking apart samples and not quite fitting them back together, adding rough drum machine beats and sloppy turntable scratching, as well as blown-out synthesizers making almost cartoonish noises. The duo come across as overexcited cratediggers rather than serious, professional musicians concerned with technical perfection, and their enthusiasm is endearing. They seem to delight in juxtaposing messy beats with smooth, jazzy keyboards, suggesting that while they have the talent to make sublime, impeccably crafted music, they'd rather have fun and mess things up. "China Nr. 04" has a clunky beat that feels like it's stuck in the mud, and it's surrounded by calm, airy synths that nevertheless keep getting flanged and delayed. "W313D" nods to Detroit in its title, and recalls producers such as Theo Parrish, but its smudged synths and bugged-out dubby effects have no earthly origin. The producers play with the listener's perception during the track's final minute, with the sound of coughing followed by headphones falling off. The music then seeps through the headphones, and this tinny sound is chopped up and doused in effects. It seems like the two producers are never content with leaving a sound by itself; they have to continually play around and mutate everything. This makes The Yard Work Simulator a fun, unpredictable album that is sure to confuse some listeners, but it fits right at home with the nonconformist ethos of Ninja Tune. ~ Paul Simpson



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