In 2001, New York dance staple Drop the Lime was making dense, hectic breakcore tracks. A few years later, he's retooling dance songs for everyone from Blaqstarr to Moby, having moved beyond a youth based in experimental electronics to a world where you actually make money and girls attend your concerts.
With the release of Microphone Pet, it would seem Mochipet is attempting a similar transition. His career has thus far been that of a laptop rocker, releasing a steady stream of heady glitch on weirdo electronic standbys like Peace Off, Death$ucker, and Violent Turd. His last few releases, including Microphone Pet, have been on his own Daly City imprint, which perhaps facilitated the paradigm shift his latest release hints at.
Microphone Pet is a compendium of vocal works going back to 2005. They encompass essentially two realms: quiet, sultry females uttering things over beats, and nasal Bay Area emcees rapping over beats. It's not a bad idea at all, as Mochipet has more than proved he has the chops to supply well-produced club-oriented bass for vocalists to turn into honest-to-goodness dance music.
The new school of dancehall/crunk club production requires the showiness of experimental electronics be parsed down to a razor-sharp, well-produced edge, and Mochipet seems up to the challenge. Unfortunately, getting the vocals right is something he's less adept at, and the whole project never really comes together.
The main problem is that the vocalists simply aren't that fun to listen to. The rappers are often annoying and uninteresting; even when Mochipet calls on Hiero stanby Opio, things never get exciting. Often the female vocalists completely miss the hushed sensuality they paw at, and there's simply not enough grit on the instrumentals to make up for it.
It also doesn't help that Mochipet sounds uncomfortable engineering vocals. They feel tacked on and often don't have the punch or depth necessary to become club anthems. If you listen carefully, you may actually be able to hear over an emcee's voice the hum of what sounds like a desktop computer fan.
Mochipet is talented, likable, and friendly. But if he continues in the direction of Microphone Pet, he needs to sharpen up his game. Otherwise, listeners will long for his days of computer bleeps and amen breaks.
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