- I read an interview with Mike "Disco Nihilist" Taylor in which he professed to harbour no envy for the pricey and extensive studios of some artists. In Taylor's opinion, a glut of machines is more likely to impede creativity than unleash it. House Rent Boogie, the American's second record for Running Back, shows a continued adherence to this reductive ethos. And damn, does it validate it. Like Heatsick's Casio-based creations, all four tracks show just how convincingly strong composition can overcome instrumental limitations.
Opener "House Rent Boogie" is vaguely similar to Roman Flügel's recent "Cookie Dust." It's full of nice bells, but they're arranged into a hammering, aggressive pattern. Wisely, Taylor provides plenty of breaks from the assault, throwing in kooky synth solos and buttressing the whole thing with thick, elastic bass. On the B-side, "Film Grain" has a similar sense of intensity, but this time it's achieved with racing hats and 4/4 claps, leaving more bells to add a pleasant tropicality to the mood. "Operator Select" drops the throttle slightly, but its waves of serrated 303 and heart-monitor-like beeps prove just as full-on. It's not so bruising as the tom and cowbell-heavy "Beatdown Drums," however. That one feels like going a few rounds with Muhammad Ali.
A1 House Rent Boogie
A2 Beatdown Drums
B1 Film Grain
B2 Operator Select