Boulderdash

Alien Folk Trash

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If you thought dDamage sounded odd, wait until you hear this outing by this one-half spin-off project. Jean-Baptiste Hanak takes bedroom indie rock production to another level -- whether it's upward or downward will be left up to you. His short songs are filled with cheap, overdriven beatboxes, fuzz guitars, spacy synths, treated vocals, and noises. The most obvious comparison would be with Jad Fair's collaborations with Jason Willett, although Boulderdash's music lacks the instant poetry-cum-rants of Jad Fair to sound genuinely over-the-top. On Alien Folk Trash, it mostly sounds like labored lo-fi. That said, the album has its moments, like the three cute and catchy collaborations with female singer The Very Ape, the noise pop anthem "My Little Sunshine," and the instrumental "Shampoo for Yokhi." But you must be willing to go through some aural punishment in order to locate the gems among all the distortion and noise -- then again, that's what Alien Folk Trash is all about. The album consists of 20 tracks, for a total duration of 47 minutes, but the Angelika Köhlermann label has added Boulderdash's 1995 The Dark Side of Boulderdash EP in the form of bonus MP3 files. Sampled at 320 bits, the songs are much more crude and adolescent, and downright painful to listen to -- mono playback on a deceased boom box. It's the kind of bonus material that will appeal only to the most devoted of fans.

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