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Junk Culture

West Coast EP

(Illegal Art; US: 27 Oct 2009; UK: 27 Oct 2009)

For his debut EP, Junk Culture’s Deepak Mantena has assembled collages of samples he created with a simple handheld machine. Thus, he intends these nine cut ‘n’ paste tracks, some of which run under a minute, to take on a sort of lo-fi charm. More often than not, though, the “sound tapestries” come across as scattered, random shards of sonic fabric Occasionally, the frenzied approach yields incidental beauty. Mostly, though, West Coast comes across like a CD player that starts skipping while playing a jam band mix.

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John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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Mantena's voice is the big draw here, because the music -- though cleverly patched together -- never quite asserts itself.
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