Review: Kinesthetiac - "Self-Titled EP"

Kinesthetiac - Kinesthetiac EP
(2015 Sad Alan)

In the mid-2000s, Animal Collective introduced a raucous, neo-tribalist aesthetic to the rather sterile, whismsical brand of indie rock that dominated the scene, peddled by NPR-core acts like The Shins, The Decemberists and Grizzly Bear. Dubbed “freak-folk”, AnCo’s fresh, exciting approach to the classic “campfire song” was an experiment in regression. Disposing of any notion of convention, the collective exposed the beast caged within indie-folk’s quaint, soothing aesthetic by stripping it down to stomps, chants and barbaric yawps, a cacophony of pure emotion. Today, Indiana-based producer Kinesthetiac’s new EP is part of a similar revolution challenging the conventions of electronic music. A self-proclaimed “next level gay furry internet persona post-modern expeditionist”, Jared VanMatre produces odd sound sketches that are often minimal in construction but always maximalist in their scope of expression. “Call Me Up” evokes the sonic color pallet of Fisher-Price reds, yellows and blues that I’ve often attributed to PC Music’s GFOTY. It’s straightforward, and jarringly childlike, its bleep and bloops reminding me of sound effects from a late-90s educational computer game, (maybe Freddi Fish, perhaps?). “@TheSarcasmTweets” is the album’s crowning achievement, its unpredictable rhythms accented by vocal samples that seem to have been run through a Slap-Chop. It’s sort of a cross between A.G. Cook and Spinee. Bookended by instrumentals like the funky “Deep Landscape” and “Clubhouse”, a bouncy jingle that features a cute whistle sample, Self-Titled is an undeniably fun album from start to finish and is one of the year's most re-playable efforts.

(excerpt from half gifts issue 13)