Ice Cream Truckin'

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Occasionally a remix album comes along that underscores just what a generally terrible idea remix albums tend to be. Twink's Ice Cream Truckin' is one of those albums. Twink is the solo project of an interestingly skewed Boston-area producer/performer named Mike Langlie, who has released three albums based primarily on his extensive collection of toy pianos, with similar signifiers of youthful innocence interpolated: samples of old children's music records, cartoon soundtracks, seriously adorable kiddie-book graphics, that sort of thing. It's all balanced on a knife's edge between endearing and genuinely creepy, and that is precisely where Langlie seems to be most comfortable. However, that's definitely a hard balance to maintain, and that's why these 18 tracks tend to range from boring to dreadful. The remixers on call -- few if any of whom will be familiar to most beyond the most avid skulkers in the online remix subculture -- often attempt to mash Langlie's plinky-plinky toy pianos against heavy beats, a sonic collision that often makes Langlie's original contributions sound like bad MP3 compression artifacts. The few who get it more or less right, such as Wayne Marshall's acid jazz groove "Sprinkles," are those who use the toy pianos as accents to otherwise original material. Overall, however, Ice Cream Truckin' has little of the playful charm of Twink's earlier albums, and the toy pianos will probably just be annoying to dance remix fans. Hard to see whom this is supposed to appeal to.

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