Rubber Johnny


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Another obscure one-off from the electronically motivated Warp record label from England. Anonymity rears its head once again, much like previous releases from mysterious acts like Woodenspoon (who was later discovered to be Mark Clifford from Seefeel) and a 1990 EP from Gak (aka Richard James of Aphex Twin). So now, Rubber Johnny has a go at it with his (or her) own chemistry set. The opening track, "DrumRolyPoly," drills along in a frenetic drum'n'bass formation, while the keyboards and ambience buzz around the ears like a mad hornet on the prowl. "Dickie's Magick Poppers" comes next, with the same sort of ambient insect noise and a hiccuping rhythm track, all adding up to an air of cold detachment that Autechre has done (and with better results). "Pocket Drums" follows in much the same way, sputtering along as if to convey mood through drum programming and vaguely Eno-esque keyboards looming in the background. The final track, "Trouser Snake," marches along like an army of scorpions that circle the block endlessly with nowhere to go. The entire EP suffers in much the same way: Jamrolypoly may have a distinct voice, but not much is said with it (perhaps all the better that the composer remains anonymous). This EP lacks composition, dynamics, and emotion, but in the electronic scene there are no rules, no promises, and no discounts at the record store.

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