Allow us to tell you about our specials for today…
Alfred Soto: What is this? Vocal samples arranged as Greek chorus supporting a high-pitched dismissal, Grimes-esque. Until the 2:21 breakdown when the track becomes another eighties dance floor revival, it’s quite static. A most lissome racket.
Lilly Gray: Around minute two things start to unravel, the machine hitting an analog skid when you try to replay a vicious message left by that one ex. Every blurred edge and fuzzed noise does nothing to soften, only intensifies and sharpens. If I have to be tortured in a neon pink cage behind the bowling alley by the one person I maliciously bewitched, let this be the soundtrack.
Maxwell Cavaseno: A record so acidic in bitterness, it pretty much sounds like its dissolving and its trail would probably look like the rainbow effect in parking lot car-fluid puddles. “Ho” has the vibe of a world where the girl next door finds out about the “Sexy Pygmalion” the protagonist made in an ’80s T&A comedy and tries to take her out in disgust. Sickly sweet because deep down it’s just mean, and leaves you with a weird taste on your tongue.
Will Adams: It’s hard to argue with frosty electropop, no matter how faux-sassy it can be at times.
Jonathan Bradley: Synth-pop reflux inaugurates this hazy concoction of contempt and robotics. The porny vocabulary is jarring (“kissy-kissy,” “she makes you horny,” “she’s such a hottie”), and not in the intriguing way that dialtone vocal does once it re-focuses its disembodied malevolence from the third person to the second. “You mean nothing to me and you know it” is delivered with the uncomfortable authority of a message delivered from your own mind, and it slips into an untreated, human tone only as it fades out, enhancing the unease. “Ho” coalesces when it becomes wordless, however; then the pastels come technicolor and the circuitry attains its own consciousness.
Ryo Miyauchi: That hook — “you mean nothing to me, and you know it” — sits like a shining prize at the end of a pitch-black maze, which X0809 encourage you feel out the texture of its architecture to get to the finish. They make you work for it as you walk in the dark, but once you hear them warp it in all possible dimensions, the crack at the mystery becomes so rewarding.
Brad Shoup: “When you are lonely, you ring the bell” — it’s a clever reverse, and the actual bell that following is just as listless as its owner. Funny stuff. Presented with the choice of scoring points and damage, they go for both: the words cut and the vocalizations haunt. Plus, the track knocks: doorbell bass over one-legged kick.
Jessica Doyle: Musically it ain’t much besides a finely held note of contempt. “Musically it ain’t much” is missing the point. (I especially like that the line that gets repeated is “Everybody knows and talks about it,” suggesting that the used has the power and the user is the one losing social capital.) Gotta say, nothing about this (or this) is going to change my newly default stance towards all-female experimenting-with-electronic doing-their-own-deejaying expressing-their-own-anger duos, which is: YES.