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WIZARD OF – FACE/SKELETON

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Toronto’s Bob McCully, the man behind the experimental “fucked up synth” and bass project WIZARD OF, released his LP Face/Skeleton on Digitalis Records last week. Each side of the tape is assembled into a unity from a limited set of samples, which McCully repeatedly deconstructs only to build back up again like a Lego set. Loops hum and jolt over booming bass lines. It proceeds by turns from industrial to groovy, crunchy to mechanically precise.

There’s a lot to be said about McCully’s beautiful and varied use of samples. It’s easy to lose track of the crazy amount of loops that accumulate in the constant motion of his arrangements. These loops are often cropped in these machine gun bursts too tightly to be pronouncedly percussive or melodic. They fly around the mix like fighter jets, slowly gathering and building to a dense climax. The closely cropped sample at the outset of Face V whirls like a broken toy siren, while Skeleton IV’s chipmunked “When I get older…” phrase gives the song a youthful, naïve feeling. The latter dainty vocal sample is flipped, pitched and chopped a dozen different ways during the course of the Skeleton I-VI suite. This is not pristine production by any means. It’s dirty, spastic fun. Check it out for an exploration of the concepts of appropriation and assemblage that will get you TURNT UP.

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