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V/A - Touch Ringtones

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Artist: V/A

Album: Touch Ringtones

Label: Touch

Review date: Mar. 31, 2002

We live in a hostile, fragmented dystopia. Most of us that still dare brave the outside world (that smelly, dangerous area between our homes and the package store) do so soaking in the desire to GET AWAY. To ANYWHERE. Anywhere familiar and safe.

For better or worse, technology is aiding our escape, substituting most of the residual relics of 3D human interaction with cellphone conversations. To those around us, they sound like eerie, one-sided monologues, but we carry on without shame, rapping with someone far away who wants to help us accumulate status and money, or someone across town that likes us the way we like to be liked. Some cellphone packages are cheaper than the typical long-distance plan these days. Yearning for an urban landscape sans cellphones makes as much sense as trying to stop TV. We’re all headed for secure, disembodied bliss, couched in our heads where only the people with whom we desire communication can join us and not be promptly ejected.

I still hate the things, although not for the reasons you might expect. I don’t care if you’d rather talk to your sorority sister three miles away than to me, walking past you. If you want to stay out of my face, that’s not a problem. What I detest is hearing your little postmodern tin can cheep its infuriatingly cute digital version of “Bootylicious” as it summons you into the ether.

The makers of Ringtones are fixing that problem. This disc includes over a hundred (many of the 99 tracks have more than one tone) possible come-hithers you’ll soon be able to program in. The technology that’ll allow your mobile to greet you with a snippet of witty dialogue, some porno moaning, a majestic organ or “A Concise History Of Californian Rock Music In Under Five Seconds” are inevitably ON THE WAY.

It’ll fill the rancid city air with random non-sequitirs to amuse the detached citizenry. It’s something for me, at least, to look forward to.

By Emerson Dameron

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