VCR5 = Danger + Dan Deacon
Virgin Sophia = Boards of Canada + Air + Prefuse 73
I couldn’t find much press on either of these guys, and when I did, others were just as baffled as I was. It might just be that the local scene for these two electro-beat art-noise makers is so underground it makes them seem more enigmatic then they are. Unfortunately, their mystery isn’t enough to make this a solid release. It’s not that either of them suck, it’s that they are just mediocre enough to slip through the cracks. Under the moniker VCR5, Joe Greathouse makes noisy, Tron-inspired, dark, techno-heavy, chaos IDM. Stand-out track “Onit” was a weirdly melodic mash-up player, and “Mud” was a nice, lyrical wrap-up to the end of the set. Patrick Munger, as Virgin Sophia, takes a mellow, Valium-soundscape approach, which makes sense when you look at his video pairings on his blog, but doesn’t really stand on its own.
2WENTYTHRE3 = N.I.N.’s Pretty Hate Machine + Orgy
The thing about this 2WENTYTHRE3 is that it’s really pretty good for what it is. From the little information I could find about Jared Smith, a Utahn, he’s taking himself pretty seriously and trying earnestly to turn in a solid effort for his sound and his branding, and it’s easy to tell that he is working very hard at both. It also seems that while he is becoming quite good at his craft, he tends to come across as “safe” in a way, and while it definitely shows a lot of talent and good, strong songwriting in a textbook aggressive and industrial style, it’s missing something. As a result, it’s all kind of sterile. I think that Smith would benefit from a collaboration, or something that will challenge him to really get big and theatrical, and maybe even a little more choosy. If Rammstein were just one guy with Garageband and drum machines, would it still be good? Maybe, but as a full band they have the ability to sell out stadiums worldwide, AND they get to use crazy pyrotechnics.