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Max Tundra | Parallax Error Beheads You

Domino (2008)
By DEVIN KING  |  November 11, 2008


On his 2002 Mastered by the Guy at the Exchange, Max Tundra used outdated MIDI instruments (the obviously fake sounds usually heard on '80s pop and dance records), added the quick beat cutting of '90s electronic music (think Aphex Twin or Squarepusher at their most hyper), and sang over them with a fey British music-hall voice. When he used these techniques to create OCD pop, the album was fantastic, but as the songs became more spacious — more about sound than song — I missed his self-consciously cheeseball hooks. So I'm happy to report that Parallax Error excels in them.

It begins with a MIDI organ and Tundra singing like Little Orphan Annie: "I landed in somebody's lap, between the iPod and yellow trucker cap." Awkward references like this abound — "Will Get Fooled Again" even details the various Internet sites where Tundra meets girls. This would be a little too cute, except that he explodes the references to the point of absurdity, dropping "Google" and "eBay" — and rhyming the latter with a girl bidding on Jim O'Rourke's Halfway to a Three-Way.

He still dabbles in more-chin-stroking fare, but he's able to ground his adventures in enough melody to preserve the album's flow — and your bearings.

Related: 'Urge' overkill, The Big Hurt: The week in digital mishaps, Different drummer, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Internet, Science and Technology,  More more >
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