Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Neil Cicierega "Mouth Moods" (2017)


To describe "Mouth Moods" as a comedy record would be a fatal mistake. Although it provides plenty of laughs and giggles, it is a far more impressive artistic mashup experiment than it is purely for laughs. Artist Neil Cicierega is a creative individual and as a musician has struck gold with his collection of "Mouth" record, this being the third and best yet! If your from the 90s, 00s generation then this will be a trip down memory lane as many popular songs of the era find themselves stitched together with a touch of genius, inducing one into a state of confusion, "how is this even possible".

"ACVC" has to be the records finest moment on the confusion front, AC DC's "Back In Black" mixed with Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles". Sounds like a recipe for disaster but somehow its fantastic despite the contrast of Johnson's raspy, scratchy snarls and the lush piano led instrumentation behind it. There is a selection of crossovers involving two contrasting songs that have somehow been fit together. If I'm not careful Id simply end up writing a list with all the popular music included in the record. Not everything is a straightforward mash up. Neil finds themes in the music to include other coherent samples from TV commercials, shows and pop culture in its audio form. If not Tony tiger shouting "There great!" alongside the classic "Eye Of The Tiger" vocal, Neil also lets these non musical samples set the tone, either an advert for CD-ROM's or a Blockbuster Video commercial can lead the song to its point. There is also two fantastic vocal snippet songs with a large string of vocal hooks stitched together in maddening style!

There aren't weak points to be talked about, everything works, some with a little more charm than other but every experiment is rewarding, even odd moments where Chester's vocal from "In The End" is alarmingly transformed and distorted it somehow sounds fantastic. For an audiophile like myself its a very engaging listen. Between the light bulbs popping off at all the nostalgic samples I recognize, I find myself mystified as to how he has found so many instrumentals, acapellas and carefully extracted samples. I'm assuming its likely he doesn't have access to the masters of so many pop songs and I'm left with a curiosity to the production techniques deployed. Its a fantastic sounding record despite some obvious problems you'd expect to encounter however Neil has remixed everything to a fine art. Bravo, a brilliant musical experience, especially for my generation.

Rating: 8/10

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