A drummer can’t make a proper solo album, right? Look at Ringo Starr…joking aside, I heard the name Joe Fadem, drummer in Thank You, Scientist, in a video by Ben Levin about chiptune, the topic was a chiptune remix of one of Ben’s songs. Making things glitchy and non-sensical seems a natural talent for Joe, so much that he launched a solo project out of that, creating some cartoony characters and a world of colorful visuals that remind an 8-bit version of The Teletubbies. So here it is the LP Trust Fund Ozu. Let’s see if the glitches make us discover new “Missingnos” or if they just freeze the game card.
Enter Ozu! Our little robot protagonist takes form in a creepy chiptune intro that slowly lets happier resolutions take place but also tasty oriental melodies. Almost everything of the opening track sounds like being played on an old Game Boy, culminating in a sudden deceleration and acceleration section towards the end, going towards lo-fi tones. The second track Railtracer is like entering the dungeons. Darkness, slow movements to avoid dangers, some creepy treble sounds in the background to keep high the level of attention. The ear-rape elements are the opponents to fight against. The build-up signs the start of the spoken-word/rap parts, cursed and nervous but more relaxed in the following song, a single from the record. Sweat Crystal sounds chill and fun and deals with a dream about aspirations and expectations, interrupted by the wake-up, provided by the frenzy of the drums.
Party Full Of Demons features the first guest Bob Botanist, and so the tune sounds a lot more rap-focused respect to the others, very tasty because of the straight-to-the-face vocals, the sick sonic background that despite minimalism sounds a lot energetic. Entering the regions of trap and stranded rapping, Nuttin’ features Justice Cow (Bent Knee, Ben Levin Group) as a singer and rapper in a song about…being a dog? Not so strange, since Joe just wants his dogs to be proud of him). The dissonances make the song sound raw and trippy. Thotbreaker OST sounds exactly like a soundtrack for an old NES game, for example, Castlevania or Ghosts’n’Goblins. Going from happy melodies to obscure bits, it’s the perfect passing track before developing the album further after all this rap.
Oozy Locksmith’s Theme is the BIOS settings of a computer coming to life in the form of glitchy beats. You hear the mad drums of Joe and the classic sounds of the old internet era, with all the screeches, the clearly synthetic sounds and everything related. Another reference to the digital world is the title of the eighth track, The Error Crusher Keeps Killing Me But I Come Back Stronger Every Time. The artist is like a role-playing-game warrior trying to defeat the bugs of the game rather than the foes, digital madness that sounds modular. Just like the most classic trial-and-error games, the song prosecutes by stopping and going again with renovated energy, a little bit more conscious at every round regarding the direction to pursue. The final song is Origin Story. The avatar comes back to the source code, now finally capable of changing the code at its will. Here melody and rhythm are more intertwined than ever, no clear distinction between, all the glitches play together the magic cult of the digital music, finally coming to a resolution. The final piano notes play very melodiously while a very low bass goes mad with dissonance. All the core elements of the album synthesized by a minimal arrangement in the finale.
Listening to Trust Fund Ozu is like turning on an old NES where you don’t play Super Mario but hear a cohesive chaos of screeches, bugs, and glitches, and rap when needed. The good Joe dedicated all of his weirdness to the solo project that follows the adventures of the Little Ozu inside the digital world of the rabbit hole. A different experience respect to classic rap and electronic music, taking all the good from both the worlds.
Listened to and written for you by Music Pills
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