TBD first made a noteworthy noise with the release of "What Is This?", their 2009 debut that found favor with critics, DJs and audiences for both its seditious take on dance music – and avoidance of worn-out conventions – and sheer sublimity. It was fitting success for an outfit founded by two musicians who, bored by the sounds around them, set out to "create something new, fresh and not confined by restrictive genre pigeonholing." On the heels of that pitch-perfect release, as well as remixes for luminaries including Permanent Vacation, Runaway, 2020 Soundsystem and Populette, to name just a few, TBD – comprising Rong Music’s Lee Douglas and ex-!!!/Outhud bassist and producer Justin Vandervolgen – is back with a 12" of idiosyncratic new music.
A-side "Oh My" starts with a raygun firing and a static-y snare, then adds more leftfield sounds, including high-frequency squalls and electric blips. When, mid-song, the hushed breakdown starts, it’s propped up almost solely by a precision beat – before it expands with handclaps, electro-stomps and bubbling synths. The song rises to its apex – complete with drums crowding in and electrical pulses growing more insistent – on the back of what sounds uncannily like a spaceship coming in for landing. The musical conflagration explodes with a sonic boom, then slowly rekindles using ear-piercing droid squeaks, Pacman chomping sounds and spiky guitars shredded to bits.
On the B-side is a surprisingly straightforward remix of "Oh My." Whereas the original is all frenetic energy and electro-spazzes, the re-working – redubbed "Okay, Cool" – is a less anxious affair. The second track lifts the original’s unmistakable beat, but reigns in the ornamentation. Still, there’s plenty going on here: What begins with just a few essentials builds to greater heights, ending – quite unexpectedly – at nearly twice its original volume.
Published: 15th April 2010