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Dead Fader - Corrupt My Examiner

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Artist: Dead Fader

Album: Corrupt My Examiner

Label: 3by3

Review date: Sep. 1, 2010

The debut album from Brighton, England duo Dead Fader, Corrupt My Examiner is an unexpectedly joyful blast of electronic noise, nine tracks filled with distressed synths, bass pulses and deteriorated sounds strewn across chopped beats. "Corrupt" is an apt word here, as Dead Fader work with a palette comprised mainly of synths processed through bit-crushing, distortion, filters and anything else at hand. Very little is left untouched.

The album starts with a couple of almost deceptively clean tracks; "Autumn Rot" bounces along on a fast, seemingly light-hearted rhythm, as distant echoes and tweaked sounds push it into the shadows a bit. "JBE Zorg" throws siren-like squeals and rubbery throbs atop a sprightly beat.

From there, though, Dead Fader take things progressively farther out, with slower, noisier tracks made from hissing electronics, low-end grinding and constantly morphing synth emissions. Whether it’s the title track’s runaway tractor beat, or the clanking metal rhythms of the oddly named "Mud-," the album manages to unerringly hit the perfect balance of just-hanging-in-there solidity and grin-inducing chaos.

The depths of noisiness and preponderance of abrasive textures could have easily led to pretentiously po-faced dreariness, but what makes Corrupt My Examiner so well is the overwhelming sense of fun. Listening to the cheery synth melody thrown unexpectedly into the middle of low-end bass and dense walls of fuzz on "Bitchface” makes me smile. The clomp-clomp rhythms, like square wheels chugging along, brings to mind any number of insane cartoons.

With instrumental electronic music, it’s impossible to guess at intentions, of course, and someone else might read entirely different things into Corrupt My Examiner, which is of course one of the joys here. Perhaps it’s a twisted world, but for me this has been part of an enjoyable summer soundtrack, easily one of my favorites of the year. If you like your beats flavored with a large serving of noisy, broken electronics, you’ll have to work hard to find a recent album better than this.

By Mason Jones

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