Oct 2012 16

Blaktroniks - Ready Set BlowBlaktroniks
Category: Hip-Hop / Electronica
Album: Ready Set Blow
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Ready Set Blow is an accurate depiction of its content; it has material that seems promising at the get go, (Ready, Set!) but fizzles into monotony and tedium (Blow!). Congratulations, you succeeded.


Blaktroniks has potential, but doesn’t quite make an impression. The project began in 1996 as a collaborative endeavor between Edd Dee Pee and X-Ray. Over the last 15 years, the pair released three full-length albums and two EPs. The description on their Last.FM page is an apt characterization of their music: “The name, Blaktroniks, is a metaphor to connote the ability to manipulate a waveform to simulate a variety of naturally occurring phenomena, and transmit it, thus creating a transformation matrix that allows the receiver to move freely from one thought to another.” It gives false hope that the sound is rich with poetic overtones and creative sounds. The album’s content features fantastic vocalists who are quite promising, but lyrics that make little sense and banal backing tracks that fail to hold a listener’s attention span.

The album opens with “I Gotcha,” which is appealing in the first few seconds, but becomes a droning, grumbling track with flat lyrics that are indecipherable: “Not many cats can be my dog/so fly/so flee/try to steal my job.” Sorry, but this writer don’t gotcha. Edd Dee Pee’s vocals are the strongest aspect of the song despite that the lyrics don’t meet the quality of his voice. The instrumental attributes drizzle into a fusion of background aural fuzz. The song that least fits the flow of Ready Set Blow is “Computers Do It Better.” It’s as if Edd Dee Pee and X-Ray are attempting to pay homage to Daft Punk, but the overly synthesized, robotic voices are more disturbing than a tribute to the acclaimed French duo and future technology. It could make one feel as if he or she is about to be hypnotized, brainwashed, and then exterminated by the Daleks – a race of evil aliens on the British television program Doctor Who. The strongest song on the album is “Special Kind of Love.” The song features Alicia Renee’ (a.k.a. Blue Eyes), who has a lovely voice, and is the highlight of the entire album. Her performance outshines many of the less fortunate and thinly mixed beats that are strung together through each track, though this piece has an almost pleasantly lazy Ibiza groove to it.

Overall, Ready Set Blow has decent quality vocalists who are accompanied by underdeveloped music that fails to keep the album interesting. However, Blaktroniks recently teamed with Austrian DJ Parov Stelar on the song “Let’s Roll,” which is not featured on Ready Set Blow. Their consortium of sound is a blend of Stelar’s bouncy dance worthy grooves and Edd Dee Pee’s velvety chocolate voice. The fusion of the two projects is a good match, and if Ready Set Blow demonstrated more influence from “Let’s Go,” it would have made for a more successful LP. If a person standing on a beach saw a glimmer in the sand, ran up to the shiny object, and found it to only be a nickel instead of a half dollar, that would be how this reviewer felt about Blaktroniks. Ready Set Blow is not insufferable, but it’s definitely not a novelty album.
Track list:

  1. I Gotcha
  2. It’s All Right Now (feat. Alicia Renee’ a.k.a. Blue Eyes)
  3. Strawberry Cough
  4. Computers Do It Better
  5. Dot 2 Dot
  6. The Sound of Struggle
  7. It Can Get Ugly
  8. Sky Scrapers (feat. Edward Robinson)
  9. Keep Reakting
  10. Nothing
  11. The End is Near (feat. Mstr Adassa)
  12. The Plot (circa 1983)
  13. Occupy (feat. Edward Robinson)
  14. Blow You (feat. Exes4Eyes)
  15. Special Kind of Love (feat. Alicia Renee’ a.k.a. Blue Eyes)
  16. Hoping
  17. Dying Game
  18. Which Way Is East?

Blaktroniks MySpace http://www.myspace.com/blaktroniks
Blaktroniks Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/blaktroniks/47058694907
Blaktroniks Twitter https://twitter.com/blaktroniks
Blaktroniks SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/blaktroniks
Tokyo Dawn Records Website http://www.tokyodawn.net
Tokyo Dawn Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tokyo-Dawn-Records/40192512360
Tokyo Dawn Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/tokyodawn
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Claire Caldwell (DisarmAndCharm)

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