Headcase

Crosseyedrabbit

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With 2003's Crosseyedrabbit, Dean Garcia takes up exactly where he left off on his debut Headcase album, Mushiness. This sophomore album is more storming drill'n'bass techno, more spookily distorted vocals, more tweaked and creepy samples, more bizarre sci-fi effect loops, and just more all-out technological assault. As with Mushiness, this album should not be approached as Curve minus Toni Halliday, because traditional song structures only arise in rare moments, and because Garcia is focused here primarily on mood, thunderous grooves, and lo-fi beats. Where Curve adheres to and reveres shoegazer melodies, Headcase blends the bombast of Jack Dangers with a sound underbelly similar to the freaky, frazzled experimentation of Aphex Twin's Caustic Window project. That's not to say that Garcia doesn't dabble in emotional tones. He unleashes gorgeous layers of classic shoegazer feedback on "Ghost," and he filters the sweet voices of assorted collaborators and relatives into a bevy of other songs for touching effect. The album truly isn't all shock and awe, as tender piano passages, bright and easy hip-hop beats, and heavenly bell samples emerge out of the fury with great regularity, and songs suddenly warp into lush magical carpet rides and then journey further into the realm of rave. While Curve fans will find much to admire here, ultimately Crosseyedrabbit should appeal more to drill'n'bass lovers and the Meat Beat Manifesto fanatics of the world. If it's not the most accessible album, it's still another solid, beautifully squalid noise junket from master soundcrafter Garcia.

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