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Replikants

Slickaphonics

(Kill Rock Stars)

I haven’t heard the first Replikants album. I’m afraid to do so, since this new one definitely screwed with my head.


The Replikants, at least here on Slickaphonics, are bizarre. They’re Brandt Sandeno and Justin Trosper of Unwound along with some pals from the Pacific Northwest making some of the strangest music you’ll ever hear. Think John Cage meets Kraftwerk meets Mouse On Mars meets mental illness. The stuff is “out there,” completely undefinable. And while in a lot of cases that means bad or unbearably pretentious, in the case of the Replikants the stuff is very, very good.


Emotions triggered? Frantic, depressed, elated, tense, relaxed. And that’s after one song. Few albums are as all over the map as Slickaphonics, and Slickaphonics manages to pull your emotions and ears in every direction on every track.


I almost got in a car accident the first time I listened to Slickaphonics. I ran a red light. No lie. I turned it off, seven songs into the CD, and feared having to come home and listen to it again.


In a setting where I wasn’t risking my life and others’, the album blew me away. Sitting down with a pair of headphones and letting the samples pan back and forth consistently drove me into a trance and then woke me up with an array of loud percussion and pulsing beats, repeating the process over and over. Simple jazz arrangements would give way to sonic chaos, digress into some bouncy rock ‘n’ roll and then explode into a dizzying flurry of blips and bloops. I’m sorry this description doesn’t tell a lot. As previously stated, one simply cannot describe what the Replikants have created.


Slickaphonics is a collage that no one has ever created and never will again. It can send you into convulsions and then bring on a stupifying inner peace unlike any other work. It is one of the most abstract albums I have ever heard. And you need to hear it, now.

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