Dusted Reviews

Eats Tapes - Sticky Buttons

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Eats Tapes

Album: Sticky Buttons

Label: Tigerbeat6

Review date: Jul. 25, 2005

Consider Eats Tapes’ performance July 13 at Oakland’s Lobot Gallery. Marijke Jorritsma and Gregory Zifcak took the stage without any of the usual techno fare – no laptops, no visuals, just some antiquated analog machinery in a spiderweb of wiring – and proceeded to concoct, tweak and pervert some world-class acid. A crowd of dozen-odd spectators stood a few feet away, staring at the performers as they bent over their gear, simply mesmerized. It might’ve been the way they let the 4/4 heartbeat take hold, could’ve been their squelchy, caffeinated melodies emerging from the discord. There was a quaint appeal to the ramshackle production, as if the duo had discovered a warped cassette that had spent several summers on a dashboard somewhere, a decade in the making.

This past year saw a curious revival of interest in the genre built around the Roland TB-303 synth, arguably techno’s version of the wah-wah pedal. Richard James, under his AFX guise, indulged in hit-or-miss acid revisions of early ’80s synth-pop in his Analord series. London’s Soul Jazz Records label recently issued a compilation of Chicago acid-house classics, while IDM icon Luke Vibert explicitly showed his love with his latest joint, Lover’s Acid. The resurgence is perplexing; perhaps people are discovering the charm of rudimentary synthesizers, or maybe the genre’s 20-year anniversary rings certifiably “retro.” Either way, Eats Tapes steal acid’s defining traits and plaster them with tunes and tumult on their debut full-length Sticky Buttons.

Opener, “Supreme Master” first seems like a twee rave anthem for ages 3-6 with its Theremin-like squeal, and the following “Cue My Tam or Ban Me” disrupts a groove with scrambled microtones, as if the CD player’s laser is burning right through the disc. Simple hooks, though, are at the heart of Sticky Buttons, like on the irate robot-funk of “Hard Reset” and the haywired wonks of “Automata.” True to Tigerbeat6’s trademark juvenile delinquency, Jorritsma and Zifcak take magnets to their synthesizers and record the machines’ screams on “Soundsource Interlude” and “Please Give Me a Copy.” Finale “Acid, It’s What’s for Dinner” earns bonus points for speeding the beat to hardcore techno caliber, despite the baffling doo-wopped announcement of “I want some peanut butter, jelly and hot dogs.”

If melody is the distinguishing factor on Sticky Buttons, rhythm is its weakness. The grooves tend to be a little conservative stagnate if stretched out too far. Nonetheless, Eats Tapes’ bastardized acid is a gas.

By Cameron Macdonald

Read More

View all articles by Cameron Macdonald

Find out more about Tigerbeat6

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.