C2C – Tetra

January 30, 2013

Turntablism, like pagers, Baywatch and Johnny Depp being in good films, belongs in the 90s. Grandmaster Flash (debatably) invented it in the 80s and deck manipulators such as Q*Bert and A Trak perfected it in the 90s. DJ Shadow made it clever, Portishead made it sombre and DJ Swamp made it dangerous. But now, since mp3s came along, and laptops went mental, the ability to spend 18 hours locked in your room learning how to make a wikki wikki noise has lost a bit of sheen. Kids who would have been amazing DJs are now honing their high speed fingers on Ableton Live or MPCs ala Araabmuzik or Jamie xx, and the artform is pretty much dying out.

French DJ crew C2C aim to change that on their debut Tetra – it’s just a shame they miss so hard. After sitting through an hour of relentless ‘funky’ samples, vocals stripped of context, and constant va-va-va skr-skr-skitchin, I never want to see a record player again. The principal image I got from the album, was that Haribo advert were a cartoon kid DJs music to a party of sugar mad kids and their raving granny. This is the music the Haribo man would play, I thought, and it terrifies me. The nadir comes on Happy, 4 horrible minutes of wacky breaks, awful faux soul vocals, and a man exhorting you to ‘be happy’, seemingly forgetting that happiness requires more than a shithead bellowing in your ear over a Fatboy Slim covers band.

There is a slight reprieve on the downtempo melancholy of Give Up the Ghost, a piece of soft focus radio rock balladery with yearning vocals that references fellow Frenchmen Air. A few songs on, Together features a cascading Eastern instrumental passage that’s pretty cool. Outside of that it’s just oodles of galumphing big beat gash. I only hope C2C set out to create a weird art project based on the question ‘what would rap sound like without any wisdom, sex or danger?’, and if so, full marks, they’ve proved it sounds crap. 3/10

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