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Ping Pong

Safety Scissors Vs Kit Clayton
Ping Pong
(Carpark Records)

In their first release each for the Carpark label, Safety Scissors and Kit Clayton play a rapid-fire game of electronic lobs and volleys. This is the latest in the line of sports-themed (first, there was Jake Mandell's Placekick EP, then Kid 606 went gentle on his Soccergirl EP) EP releases for the label, and it's easily the most fast and furious. It isn't your friendly dorm-lounge game of back-n-forth, rather the two kick things to and fro like the Chinese ping-pong team downing people at the olympics.

To be precise, they roll through 36 tracks in just over 18 and a half minutes, chucking out song fragments and sonic experiments like nobody's business. It's not a complete hodge-podge, though, as at least one element from each track carries over into each successive one, and the entire release has a jaunty, wacktastic feel as the release starts out with the sound of a bouncing ping pong ball, which in turn morphs into a cascade of the same sound. That morphs into a goofy electro-pop track in which ping pong balls patter in the background before two short tracks of distorted noise. Eventually, it all slides headon into an odd, almost harsh electronic rumbler in which lyric-less vocals buzz over harsh noise.

At one point, the album sounds like it's going to slip into Parts Water mode, as the vocals of M Patterson Curry come up in the mix over a goofy little glitch pop gem. It only last for a minute, though, and then the album is off again in the other direction, again busting through short cuts of noise and even a touch (15 seconds or so) of off-kilter samba. During a couple other points, actual tracks seem to coalesce out of the haze, but the longest one sticks around for just over 2 minutes, and many other single tracks clock in at under 15 seconds.

While many of the shorter tracks sort of mix into one another (it would be downright headache-inducing if it didn't), this is still a release cooked up for the absentminded and short attention spanned. When it rolls past the 36th track and back to the first, you'll probably be hard-pressed to even notice the first time, as changes are such a large part of the turf. Like the infamous Gescom minidisc that Autechre released awhile back (which was split into 99 seperate tracks), this one is just as fun if listened to on random-play. It's fun, but quite hodge-podge. Hey! It's your serve.

Rating: 7