Last night at The Rising Tides Festival in Wellington I saw this insane one man band by the name of Cartoon. Working with computers, pedals, keyboards (I think?) and a drum kit (and headphone click-track?), he took us through a wildcat tsunami of low end pressure, swirling crystalline synth pads, snaky textures, off-the-wall-incidentals and a punishingly relentless wall of drum notes.
Breaking form to drop into the odd dancehall or post hip-hop middle eight (if songs ten minutes long have a middle eight?), his structures made references to the rhythmic intensity of death metal, the wild syncopation of jungle, the vivid space opera psychedelica of synthesiser drone music, and the wormy, spiraling key patterns which Purple and post-dubstep stole from g-funk, who in turn stole them from p-funk. Alongside this you had moments of 8-bit video gametronica and bass weight with a real UK sound system culture edge, plus elements of free-form jazz structure (the structure of the structureless, etc).
Anyway, it was bloody great. Afterwards a VJ I know commented that he felt like he’d had Mountain Dew poured poured into one of his ears and had let it drip out the other side. An avant-jazz drummer friend of mine also mentioned that this is exactly the sort of music he enjoys sleeping to at night time, and someone else said something equally ridiculous. I don’t know anymore.
Anyway, today I had a look on the internet, and guess what? The one man band was called Cartoon. And even better, he has a bandcamp full of music you can download at the always loved price rate of “pay what you want”, or as my friend Nadia puts it, “pay whatevez”.
You can stream/download his record 69er On A Magic Carpet below.