Musician Grey Filastine is a Barcelona-based world traveler, sound scavenger, ecological activist and philosopher — all of which comes into play on his new “Loot.”
His experiments with electronic music make Skrillex sound as conventional as Taylor Swift, though being unusual isn’t necessarily a plus for Filastine. Listeners might not be sure what to take away from “Loot,” which comes across as a heavily layered soundtrack for multiple films and videogames.
Filastine works with glitch and dubstep, mincing numerous sound ingredients into an ambitious song recipe — except calling some of these tracks “songs” is a bit of a stretch. They’re more like sonic chaos on a vague mission.
Yet even if Filastine is given to cacophonous electro-binges on impenetrable cuts such as the aptly titled “Skirmish” and “Spectralization,” he concocts inspired arrangements elsewhere. For example, he stitches together lonely trumpet, fidgety percussion and impatient synth washes on the moody delight “Shanty Tones,” and he works with a hook from Japanese MC ECD and patches in playful, Teutonic-feeling riffs to come up with an animated “Lost Records.’
Filastine uses dialogue snippets to help tell a story in the buzzing waves and resonant bumps of “Hypnotico,” and vocalist Nova lends both untethered otherworldliness to the bone-jarring “Colony Collapse” and earthy allure to counteract the mournful cello and dirty thrusts of “Gendjer2.” Meanwhile, Filastine remixes Y La Bamba’s “Juniper” into a spooky grinder.
The highlight is yet another offbeat track, an “Informal Sector Parade” that creates an ebullient tone with a feisty blend of slapping percussion and beats plus shouted vocals.
The release is packed with such amusing twists, but as it meanders from diversion to diversion, Filastine’s audience might wish they were left with something concrete.
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of five)
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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