12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Modern song-and-dance man Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop maestro 14KT, both from the lamented Motor City hip-hop crew Athletic Mic League, team up again here using old-school beatboxes, analog synths, and vintage textures. Early-’80s synth-poppers Our Daughter’s Wedding and Berlin would’ve fought hard over the jerky “Faded Photograph,” down to the electronic string break and Euro-nostalgic bent of the lyric. Buzzy electronics are strangely sexualized on the Kraftwerkian “Half Moon Bar OK.” “Cubicle” features a wonderful Bryan Ferry–ish croon atop percussive jabs and synths that lift to a party-sized chorus whose throwback warning (“Don’t lose your soul in a cubicle, oh!”) sounds remarkably up-to-the-minute. A brief pair of Eno-esque ambient pieces (“Sincerely Nemis” and “Sincerely Nester”) provide album rest stops. There’s also a Motor City heart that beats throughout: between sonic nods to Detroit ghetto-tech, the song “Monster” features a chilly, groove-centric J. Dilla beat, and the title tune is wistful of an era when techno trailblazers like Juan Atkins were influenced by Detroit disc jockey Electrifying Mojo.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Modern song-and-dance man Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop maestro 14KT, both from the lamented Motor City hip-hop crew Athletic Mic League, team up again here using old-school beatboxes, analog synths, and vintage textures. Early-’80s synth-poppers Our Daughter’s Wedding and Berlin would’ve fought hard over the jerky “Faded Photograph,” down to the electronic string break and Euro-nostalgic bent of the lyric. Buzzy electronics are strangely sexualized on the Kraftwerkian “Half Moon Bar OK.” “Cubicle” features a wonderful Bryan Ferry–ish croon atop percussive jabs and synths that lift to a party-sized chorus whose throwback warning (“Don’t lose your soul in a cubicle, oh!”) sounds remarkably up-to-the-minute. A brief pair of Eno-esque ambient pieces (“Sincerely Nemis” and “Sincerely Nester”) provide album rest stops. There’s also a Motor City heart that beats throughout: between sonic nods to Detroit ghetto-tech, the song “Monster” features a chilly, groove-centric J. Dilla beat, and the title tune is wistful of an era when techno trailblazers like Juan Atkins were influenced by Detroit disc jockey Electrifying Mojo.

TITLE TIME