Well this is quite the racket. ‘Vocoder Divorce’ sees Hausu Mountain zone-manager Good Willsmith and off-kilter singer songwriter Ryley Walker troll various musical styles with the unhinged glee of a pair of drunk ethnographers who have just found the key to an elderly relative’s dressing up box.
The fact that ‘Vocoder Divorce’ is neither as queasily overloaded as some of the stuff Willsmith’s label puts out (although the scatty zingers of ‘Drug Facts’ comes close), nor as sleek and melodic as Walker’s solo oeuvre suggests that some sense of strategy and discipline is in place to cut through the exuberant fug. Or maybe Willsmith’s setup – a cassette player through which he jammed pre-recorded fragments of drum machine and electronics – made hubristic overreach seem too much like hard work.
In any case, ‘Vocoder Divorce’ does a fine job of balancing hysteria and control. On ‘Chiasto Mirror’, Willsmith’s slippy, panting textures do a great job of boosting Walker’s minimalist guitar splinters with synergistic verve, resulting in a draughty, fungal delight. Equally fab is ‘Scraps Captain’, its gleaming squiggles and distorted blurts rarely cramping the style of Walker’s leisurely picking, which coils and twists, eel-like, in solipstic abandon. Whatever they’re drinking, I’ll take a case.