David Last

Push Pull

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It's always nice to encounter an electronica artist who doesn't take himself too seriously, and it's even better to encounter one who does take the idea of musical fun seriously. David Last's weird and funky constructions are deeply informed by a childhood that was filled equally with music and visual art -- he used to draw cartoons while listening to his parents' extensive record collection -- and they tend to evoke complex and cartoony mental images. Take "Besitos," which welds a lurching dancehall rhythm with backwards guitar loops and unidentifiable shreds of vocals, or "Posca Kid," on which squelchy sound effects and a dub-reggae backbeat meet an accordion player at a sidewalk cafe in Paris. "Secret Society" is a fun excursion into twisted hip-hop with a subtly old-school flavor, and the album-closing "Chiki" lopes along innocently for almost two minutes before you realize that the beat has coalesced into a modified, slightly robotic ska groove. Every track is like that. Apologies for the Forrest Gump (the movie) allusion, but this album really is like a box of chocolates; every track is yummy but each in a slightly different way and you never know exactly what you're going to get next. Very highly recommended.

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