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Troll Scientists

Useless Science

(Space Boogie; US: Dec 2007; UK: Unavailable)

Not everyone can be Juno Reactor, you know. For psy-trance to stay viable, others need to fill the void. Sadly, most self-proclaimed contenders to the crown tend to be pale imitators who can’t remember that funky used to mean something gritty and visceral as music specific adjective. Stepping forward with purpose, Finland’s Jani and Staffan prove a force to be reckoned with of their impressive full-length debut. Their peculiar niche of trippin’ elf magic funky forest trance is the real deal.


The opening “Dumbient” is an instant classic. It builds slowly on the back of a floating pads and gutted percussion till a mauled world music vocal sample changes course and lands the psy-dub construction on a bouncy, Enigma like beat, a densely synthetic atmosphere, a little bit of djembe drumming, and a tasty country guitar. “Time Trip” is their “Conga Fury” party stomper with an obligatory Terence McKenna sample, chugging beat, and rambling effects skittering across the dimensional rifts that confetti the dark regions of our consensus reality. The album is based in a lot of really smart interplay between their synth leads, pads, unusual samples, and basslines, all of which gloriously protects the standard four-four beats from going stale (a job much easier said than done). Never before has a fax machine and dial tone sounded so psychedelic as they do on “Fairy Tales” without sounding cliché or tacky. As such, Useless Science is neither useless, nor science helps us play… what was I talking about? Pixies! Pixies everywhere!

Rating:

Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


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