Speakers Push Through Air Review

Tar File Junction Yellotone

There’s a point about half-way through the film A.I. where Steven Spielberg effectively digs up the still warm corpse of Stanley Kubrick, dresses him in a child’s E.T. costume, pisses on him and then feeds him to a prosthetic shark. I’m not suggesting we accept the FilmFour line that Kubrick was a faultless genius, but had he seen the utter balls up Spielberg made of his lifelong pet project I suggest he’s have done more than merely turn in his grave. I felt it necessary to draw this to your attention on the off chance you googled here and in someway made an association between the Hollywood bollocks that was A.I. and the record label that shares the same name. They have about as much in common as Vanessa Feltz and Kafka.

A.I. records have been quietly making a big noise for a while now, releasing some shit-hot EPs and albums that have become the stuff of E-Bay legend within their five year, mayfly like existence. Whilst records by the likes of Claro Intelecto and FZV have been musical Milky Bars, very satisfying but not wholly filling, their latest release Tar File Junction by Yellotone will be ruining dinner times all week. Following on from his geen mayo EP, this marks his first venture into proper long-player territory and armed with his musical know-how he seems well equipped to deal with the local wildlife. Specialist music shops beware!
Opening track ‘Gail force porter lou carpenter’ (my sides are splitting…) starts like a coked up Four Tet, with pastoral instrumentation and electronic jiggery pokery descending into a full out Warp-induced knees up that lands somewhere between AFX and Radioactive Man. It’s a moonwalking, grin-inducing four minutes that stuffs your ears full of the kind of knob-rocking beats that Freeland found so evasive last year. The obligatory film sample that opens proceedings is even welcome, displaying a bona fide British-beef kind of malice that sounds like Frank Butcher describing Jeffrey Boycott’s post-match celebrations with her indoors. Hit for six indeed!
Things get a head of steam on with ‘Crunk’, a track that is thankfully not an exponent of its namesake genre sparing us another does of Lil’ John “Okkkaaaayyy”ing over some piss-weak Radio 1 sanctioned R‘N’B. Instead it sounds a bit like the theme tune to much missed Terry Wogan narrated 1980’s cartoon ‘Stop It and Tidy Up’. But re-imagined by Fridge. At four in the morning. Twinkly xylophones, a downright filthy bass-line and cuts from Sonar stalwart Buddy Pierce peppered throughout make for quite the track. With this weirdo breakbeat you are really spoiling us Mr. Ambassador. ‘Sinking Spring Farm’ is an elegant electronic affair that sails close to Minotaur Shock’s land before ditching the whimsical folktronica bridle path and taking the bullet train straight to ‘Cool Blue Albion’. Here, as the Judith Charmers voiceover would surely impart, we find not a Libertines b-side as the name may suggest, but rather a cracking slab of re-fried electro and carpel-tunnel syndrome inducing scratch samples. To paraphrase the words of Richard Prior; “If I’d have known it was gonna be this kind of party I’d have stuck my dick in the mashed potato!”

Wrapping things up, ‘Grenade Hams’ is the kind of thing that Squarepusher would have been making if he hadn’t disappeared firmly up the arsehole marked ‘Wank Jazz’, whilst ‘Power Nap’ is four minutes of breaks that build and build until you’re eyes are bleeding. But in a goodway. All in all it’s the kind of album that’s going to get noticed and for something that aims so high it has a bloody good hit rate. If Yellotone is anything to go by A.I. is shaping up to be the kind of label that’ll give the bloated Warp a run for their money, deftly mixing a proper understanding of more esoteric electronica with a sensibility that keeps its feet firmly on the dance floor. All this and not a rubber shark in site; result!