Tuesday, October 11, 2016

GAFFE OF A LIFETIME
“My Fellow Americans” C23
(Pretty All Right Records)




When do politics become so embroiled that they render art and the enjoyment one gets from art useless? Conversely, is it possible for music to overcome real-world problems as a transcendent measure? Unfortunately, black and white answers are fleeting – politics blows and global problems (read: non-first-world problems that you probably don’t think about ever) persist. Music is good, and it makes you feel good, but it’s a sedative, a narcotic. It’s impossible to reconcile one in conjunction with the other.

Gaffe of a Lifetime tries, though – oh, how he tries! And he does it as only a young man from Connecticut can, with lo-fi house he’s dubbed “new basement swing” in the form of a cassette EP. It’s a great sound coming from Alexandre Louis, the lad behind the tunes. In fact, side A is pretty heavy on the platform vibe, with the title track a post-ambient club tripper that samples President Obama saying the titular line. The message can be read either way, as a humble thank you to the soon-outgoing president or an indictment of the entire system. And “325am Hostage” might suggest the latter more than anything – it’s a tense banger, that’s for sure.

Political discourse, meet your musical side-B counterpart. “That Basement Swing” announces GOAL’s mission statement, and he follows it with “Don’t Play This at the Club,” an electro-cannonball that who cares if you play it at a club or not, everybody’s alienated by something now anyways, and I’ve never set foot inside a “club,” so what does it even matter what I think? Alexandre Louis, whether he’s trying to be political or not, or whether saying anything means anything in a post-rational landscape, at least knows how burrow electronic earworms in your skull, because that’s what My Fellow Americans is: a virus implanted through your ear canals into your memory that will grow and absorb focus until all you can think about is Gaffe of a Lifetime. That’s when the true revolution will come.




--Ryan Masteller

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