- Matias Aguayo has spent a long time playing a low-slung sleaze. It's treated him well, mostly because he's navigated the pitfalls of sex-obsession far better than his peers—see the recent cringe-worthiness of Los Updates' "My Soulmate and I" if you want to know what he's up against. Aguayo took a break from the sex talk this year for his summer anthem "Minimal," but at least it was replaced with a healthy sense of humor. Lost on the yawn-inducing thinkpieces that the track spawned, "Minimal" was a self-deprecating take on a genre Aguayo helped define. Zeitgeist-baiting aside, the reason "Minimal" became huge was because it already sounded that way—the oversized funk bass, the live clattering percussion and the sexxxified sighs all stood at far ends with minimal's orderly soft-synth palette.
Here, though, Aguayo's back to his sleazy roots, naming his new single after Walter Neff, the doomed Double Indemity character who ended the film dripping blood because of the sexual charms of a femme fatale. On "Walter Neff" Aguayo takes the movie's woeful seduction and internalizes it with lyrics about being "sick of this romance" and how "people lose their mind." Like the best pop songs, the lyrics are pretty vague. And pop music might be the best way to appreciate the track: Aguayo has used his fair share of muzzled grunts in the past, but "Walter Neff" sounds like he's humming along to a tune on the radio. It's catchy as hell. It's also weird as hell.
Born with a cowbell for a spine, "Walter Neff" has Aguayo spitting a variety of beatbox effects, with "doo doo DOO doo," "Oww Oww Oww" and a series of whooping used for melodies. The track is the complete opposite of Dave Aju's recent mouth experiments on Open Wide—Aguayo doesn't bother mimicking the sounds of instruments and the results are delirious, effective. Aguayo doesn't skimp on the b-sides either—"Rebolledo Style" sounds like a nice revision of DJ Koze's "I Want to Sleep," complete with the same anxious synth stabs and "Carter" is drenched with bone-dry hip-hop snares and hi-hats. In other words: A great way for both Aguayo and Kompakt to finish off the year.
A Walter Neff
B1 Rebolledo Style