UNFOLLOW “Blue Twenty-One” C40 (Blue Tapes)

Social media is an awkward thing, an intangible landscape where anybody can say anything with impunity. The only repercussion is reduction in friends or followers, the nomenclature depending only on your platform. And with the goal of increasing indefinitely your digital reach, shouldn’t the threat of losing those friends and followers act as a deterrent to doing stupid stuff? I mean, I’m only writing here to stroke my own ego, and piling up readers is the quantifiable result. In short, I’m in it for the money. I’ll pander to whatever, my pride’s for sale.

Just kidding. There’s no money in this.

But for some people accumulation is important, or at least it’s the be-all and end-all of social media existence. Unfollow, Toronto’s Tony Boggs (I literally wrote “Boston” first – let’s be fair, Wade is the first and only Boggs you ever think of off the top of your head) is all “Ha ha, you’re stupid for thinking that.” He’s the IDM troll who will friend you or follow you only to give you the cold shoulder when he follows his moniker to its logical conclusion. You’re unimportant to him – but your misery is his lifeblood.

Just kidding. He actually seems like a nice enough guy.

Listen, when you’re Tony Boggs and you’re making music as Unfollow – the formula: shoegaze + drum n bass = constant synthetic musical starbursts for future evolutionary iterations – there are way more important things than social concerns, so turning to the output is the only way to suss out an answer. In this case, the question would be something like, “How should I enjoy this tape?,” or, “Can you provide a quantitative measure of how much I will enjoy this tape?” Both are terrible questions, and I’ll deign to answer them both: 1) Enjoy it as much as possible, anywhere, everywhere, on headphones, on a stereo speaker, even put the MP3s on your phone if you’re not at home. And, 2) No, because that would just be unfair.

Maybe the key’s somewhere around the “future evolutionary iterations” stuff I was spouting above, in that we’re evolving in quick ways to keep up with technology – ahem, smartphones, social media, unfollowing fools – and Unfollow is a nice companion on that journey, offering hope in the midst of the chaos and a human element among all the electrics. Boggs embraces the “glitch,” the rough edge, the imperfection in music. The randomness of the moment is a compositional element. How he runs with those moments, wraps them into the work he’s doing, is the perfect encapsulation of the idea that humans are still working on figuring it out and moving beyond stasis. At least that’s what I’m hoping, that’s probably what Tony Boggs is hoping. In the meantime, the result is Blue Twenty-One, another Blue Tapes winner. Ears will hear, butts will wiggle, teeth will shake in clenched jaws, minds will blow.

Oh! – no wonder I liked Unfollow so much! I’m a Joshua Treble fan: Tony Boggs, fka. Brilliant.

Blue Tapes

-- Ryan Masteller