If it were possible to get money in return for the myriad ways I tend to reiterate the same thing, I could probably afford a nicer car than the one I drive. Hopefully I will not tread over the already old and rotting this time. This is not what I hoped for, not I have want or wanted. Enter the challenger. So, here's some electronic duo that is newly down a member, and now seem to be ready for or at least on the cusp of a new string of releases. This seems promising, or at least interesting. But now, well-versed in these songs, when confronted with Mi Ami, my first reaction is to dump the files and use Amnesia to remove all their remaining bits from my hard drive, to clean my ears with boiling water and alcohol, to cast off my headphones and cast off my desires to hear. This is not what I hoped for. Oh what happened?

So what can I start with? The titular track of Dolphins is a good place I guess. This is a fucking mess, the kind of lackadaisical "care" that can only come from an inflated sense of self. First off, the track is 9:20 long on a supposed EP (that clocks in around the 31:00 mark) where the other songs are lucky to scrape by with shorter times (5:00, 8:00, and 8:25). Secondly, I hope you like the same 707 sounds, because you're gonna have to get used to them. The incessant four to the floor is not commonly seen as a negative thing, let alone something I dread, but that's when listening to or confronted with something more, well, musical than this. Now here combined with the blown out kick and supremely '80s synths, it feels like a lesser version of some song by Games or the more-in-line-aesthetically-but-somehow-still-worse EAR PWR. But the real issue here is the vocal performance. To call it a strained yelp that borders on tuneless yelling, drenched in a wholly unnecessary and supremely awful slapback delay that doubles each word instantly renders the song as one of the most annoyingly repetitive pieces of supposed dance music I have heard in ages would almost be understating it. I would rather listen to Katy Perry instrumentals with Lady Gaga verses over them than this sub-par, unedited mess. Gone is the sense of timing or editing, letting every part go on until nothing else could be thought of (yes, even the lyrics seem to be made up on the spot). Around the 5:20 mark of the titular song, the lead synth just rambles and clangs on random notes, the foul smell of improvisatory afterbirth lingering in the air. Free jazz and Rob Walmart this is not. If that doesn't kill you, the overuse of dub style delay and high pass filters will. Usually the hats swirl in a filtered loop around a nasal drone and Italo disco bass made by a remedial programmer or pound away on incessant 16th note ticks and clicks only to be changed by said effects. The real issue is the other 20 minutes of music I have yet to get to, which all rely on the same played out sounds and uncannily skin-writhing yelp. These vocals are bad for dance music, a genre that can turn even the dullest of singers into an instrument. If you took Pregnant's timbre, spliced it with Adventure's falsetto, then cross-pollinated that unholy concoction with modern Kevin Barnes and removed all sense of restraint and melodic sensibility, you'd be in the ballpark. 'Echo' reeks of self-indulgence, vocally, dominated by the sounds of a cat's tail being repeatedly stepped on, wait that's his voice. That fucking delay has got to stop. Oh wait, around 4:30 mark the hats suddenly jump into phase and the entire track devolves into white noise for a second before going back into the same loop we've heard for the past five minutes. Therein lies the real problem, each song is the same four bar loop repeated ad infinitum.

As mentioned before, this is supposedly dance music, a genre forgiving of repetition. But, as has plagued many other bands and projects, when the loops you're working with are annoying, bland, or unskillfully prepared things just turn into a pile of steaming garbage at worst or banal nothingness at best. Dolphins falls into the former, a noxious form of electronic repetition that is poison for any party or normal listening, an offering born out of obviously selfish music that exists only to please the creators own egos. All music will be intrinsically tied to the performer, and you as the listener should be able to comprehend the natural joy and excitement of creation that fills the best music (even in the coldest of genres). It's not that the vocals are too extreme for my pleasure, even Farms and Caroliner keenly dice through my expectations, as does the aforementioned Pregnant. As should be hugely clear and looming, this is quite the noxious little package. If only ID3 tags could say 'Verboten' by default. Photobucket