Album Review: My Dry Wet Mess – Irrational Alphabet

My Dry Wet Mess – Irrational Alphabet
Magical Properties: 2010

Electronic music is always nipping at the heels of a new sound, but it is not always with the greatest precision.  The genre’s hyper-evolving path occasionally gets junked up with myopic ‘experimental’ expressions chasing after the Holy Grail of ‘What’s Next’ at the listener’s expense.

Such is not the case with Barcelona-based interactive designer/producer My Dry Wet Mess (Giovanni Citivenga off the tables), whose debut LP, Irrational Alphabet, drops Oct. 26.  His album marks the second release for label Magical Properties, an insanely promising new project in experimental electronica headed up by L.A. beat maniac, Daedelus.  The two connected when Citivenga was demonstrating the sound-reactive video performance software he himself designed for a show in L.A.

In place of the ad hoc synth confetti that jumbles some electronic efforts, Irrational Alphabet artfully experiments with disparate elements that combine to form a digital escapade with concise soul.  Citivenga is undoubtedly one of the few artists who can play with several layers of sound while steering clear of stylistic baggage, similar to RJD2 and even Kraftwerk.  The symphonic synth glides and flirts with body-moving percussion in a black light tunnel of liquid sound throughout the album.

The track “Dysfunctional Behaviors” is a prime example of such smooth intermingling with its red light siren synth and what I can only describe as robot rain, both of which weave a ponderous lightness around an unwavering drum machine and looping vocal effects.  This all tapers off into a smooth synth-vocal loop dialogue that serves to light a fire under the brief drum solo that opens the more brooding though still highly danceable track, “Disappointing Patterns”.

Tracks “Good Boy” and “Where” seem to unfold in an eccentric moonbounce of kaleidoscopic beats and playful synth-pop, but the pace is held tightly in place with chugging beats and pulsating rhythms.  The mechanistic percussion could easily be the defining touch on the entire album. On tracks like “LA No Brainer” and “Etcetera”, the crisp Kraftwerk-esque drum machine runs like a gravity line beneath an idiosyncratic synth and low-key distorted vocals, keeping the sound true to its tight texture without losing its atmospheric fiesta of cruising, neon sound.

If you’re burnt out on electronic or haven’t jumped on the new wave in a while, this is your album.  The sound never deteriorates, and each track offers up its own curves in the tunnel, lights flashing, endlessly on to the next with a mellow serenity that is far from your typical hedonistic house music.  And let’s be honest– you know you want to say you’re vibing out with My Dry Wet Mess. xo

4 out of 5
[audio:|titles=Something That Needs Nothing]

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