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Red Hot Car

Red Hot Car EP
(Warp Records)

Tom Jenkinson is one of those artists that has always been one to keep both critics and fans guessing at what he's going to do next. Although probably my favorite overall album of his is still his Hard Normal Daddy release, I have to admit that he pulled off the fusion of Music Is Rotted One Note quite amazingly (which shouldn't have come as a surprise given his crazy bass-playing skills). After a mega-prolific year in 1999 (with releases of 3 different EPs), he sort of took a year off but is now back with a new single and full-length

The first single from Go Plastic is "Red Hot Car" and although it probably won't be getting massive airplay (hint: the title of the track is just a homophonic cover for the rather naughty lyrics contained within), it's a damn catchy single and shows that Jenkinson is off to a playful start with the release. The single actually starts out with two versions of the skittering jungle track with the processed, almost sing-along vocals (appropriately a "girl" mix and a normal one). While the track itself is pretty darn fun, the only issue I have with the two tracks is that they actually sound quite similar other than a few minor stylistic changes.

The other two tracks on the release also share a name, but this time they sound nothing like one another. "Hardcore Obelisk" is a haunting, ambient track with an enveloping wall of sound that shifts ever so slightly and with any luck will get used in a creepy movie somewhere for atmospherics. "I Wish You Obelisk" however, is a banging romp that cranks up the drum machines to full-blast and drops some weird noises that sound like a human beatbox run through an electronic mouth-harp. It's listenable, but nothing groundbreaking.

After well over 20 minutes of silence after the last track (annoying!), a hidden and untitled track plays out that fits nicely alongside the earlier "Hardcore Obelisk" in terms of creepy ambience. As a whole, the disc is a cheap way to get a quick fix if you haven't yet gotten the full-length release, but doesn't offer a whole lot beyond that. The two, darker ambient tracks make me wonder what would happen if Jenkinson released an all ambient disc, though, completely devoid of wack basslines and skittering drum machines.

Rating: 6