Shaped to Make Your Life Easier

Gary Moscheles

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Shaped to Make Your Life Easier Review

by Tim DiGravina

First things first, there is no Gary Moscheles. Gary Moscheles is actually Mike Paradinas operating under a pseudonym, but isn't Paradinas always operating under a pseudonym, as µ-ziq, Kid Spatula, Jake Slazenger, or a variety of other alter egos? Gary Moscheles presents an extremely funky side to Paradinas' electronic trickery. Sounding like warped, comic jazz pieces and full of goofy samples, Gary Moscheles' music suggests he's wearing a leisure suit while he's manning his analog gadgets. Xylophones and piano feature on "Mamborama," suggesting a '70s tropical paradise. Other songs focus on grooves that approach disco, swing, and bossa nova. Some of the tracks never really get going, but that's probably Paradinas's intention. "Mamblues" is one such song; it implodes whenever the energy gets too high, acting out power loss effects. The overall feel of the album is quite witty. One gets the impression these songs were meant to be played as the score to some sort of cantina scene in an extremely low-budget, sci-fi movie. Most of the tracks utilize a great deal of repetition in their samples and sounds; on µ-ziq albums, Paradinas uses repetition toward later emotional epiphanies. Here, the repetition might seem grating, unless a listener is expecting wacky, dance music. "Gary's Groove" displays this repetition with nearly two minutes of a drum sample play repeatedly with little variation in the surrounding music. The track that really explains Paradinas' motive as Gary Moscheles is "Good Bye Jazz People." The song has Paradinas talk-singing via heavy voice processing, as he thanks his friends, family, and God in strange, hilarious style over funky electronic grooves. It takes an astute, patient listener to find the joy in such vibe-heavy electronica. Even then, it takes a sense of humor to completely enjoy Paradinas's cool cacophony. Shaped to Make Your Life Easier is a funny, jazzy pleasure; the repetitive nature of the music simply means most listeners won't give the album frequent enough spins.

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