Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

cover art


Dear Painter, Paint Me

Condensed Version

(M_nus; US: 8 Jul 2008; UK: 30 Jun 2008)

Review [19.Aug.2008]

Everyone in the industry is dealing with the unavoidable issue of piracy in their own way. Jack White now refuses to send out advance press promos after a DJ played his latest record in its entirety before its release date. Nine Inch Nails, Saul Williams, and Radiohead launched albums under a loose “pay what you want” structure. Most tragically, the RIAA spends millions of artist earned dollars investigating and suing potential life long customers for a short-term gain.

While most cautious distributors choose to tag their promos with annoying voiceovers that ruin the experience every time, Richie Hawtin’s innovative approach is to issue condensed versions of all Minus releases specially mixed by the artists themselves. As such, the commercially released debut of Jesse Siminski runs about an hour over eight tracks and the version I’m reviewing is one continuous 23 minute file, with one cut from the commercial debut missing entirely.

From what I have to go on, I think the record will be a fine selection of warm, quirky minimal techno. Basslines bubble, often a little on the woozy side, while precise German sounds and well-crafted synths fill out the paranoid production. However, I’m not sure how these tracks actually progress or even which ones I liked, though the press release gives a breakdown of the entire real album (including the track reviewers were not granted access to—gosh, that is sure helpful). Seriously, how am I supposed to recommend or decry a record with any real authority when I’ve only heard a third of it? That awkwardly brings the unknowing reviewer’s ethics into play. Though it’s a progressive idea fundamentally, there isn’t much point in sending these out. You either trust the press or you don’t. Condensed version should be released to the public as a sample, not to those who are going to sell the whole album for you.


Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.

Heartthrob's Dear Painter, Paint Me trailer
Related Articles
19 Aug 2008
The man behind the brilliant “Baby Kate” and some choice Audion remixes proves that he’s capable of thematically sustaining a full-length album.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.