[21 August 2014]
Anyone who grew up with the Super NES in their household will remember a space shooter called Star Fox. Chicago producer David Beltran has basically taken that video game name as his alias, making it porno and dirty sounding—presumably to prevent a lawsuit from Nintendo. On his release, the cheekily titled Baby I’m Off Drugs and I’m Ready to Marry You, there are hints of video game pings—particularly the use of the power-up sound that I recall from Super Mario Bros.—but this virtually instrumental electronic album (save from some ‘90s techno-style female vocals on tracks such as “Bae HD”) is a delightful and immersive listening experience. And you can’t say that Beltran doesn’t have a rather morbid sense of humor: there’s a song titled “My Cats Will Die B4 Me”. Whatever you think of that, this disc hangs together well; it is a pure pleasure to listen to. Beltran has a firm grasp as a producer and of classic house and trance sounds. These are low-key club jams for sure.
That’s not to say that everything is perfect on the LP. I find the album sags just a bit in the mid-section, with the beatless “Vacation On Tape” as being something of a weak link. “You Are My High” is a bit of a lowlight too, considering how it’s more psychedelic sounding and has a gurgling tempo. But this is a record that speaks to base animal urges, as there are samples of dogs barking on “Bae HD” and, well, you know what meowing on “My Cats Will Die B4 Me”. It also deftly navigates between the dance floor and the chill-out room (particularly on the mesmerizing “Our Bodies”, with its use of chimes). “No Text No Call” is something you can run a yellow highlighter marker over, with its reverb-y synths and female vocal coos. Starfoxxx is an alluring find and this is probably an album that I’ll find myself returning to, particularly when I want to revisit the fond memories of sitting in my parents’ basement and playing some classic shoot-‘em-ups. Those were good times, and this LP is certainly that, too. Good fun all around.