Deceptikon: Mythology of the Metropolis
Daly City Recordings

Having been in operation for a while now, Zack Wright's Deceptikon project could be in danger of being passed over by listeners in favour of 'fresher' producers. Which would be a crying shame because the music Wright's serving up on Mythology of the Metropolis is as fresh as anything coming out of the UK (or anywhere else, for that matter) at the moment. If you need proof, check out the wobbly head-nod of tunes like “Crumar Crush” and “Time Dilation” where you'll find no shortage of crisp beatsmithing and bleepy melodies bumping through Wright's future-funk.

If anything, the third Deceptikon collection benefits greatly from the experience Wright has gained as a music producer in the years since the first Deceptikon twelve-inch appeared on Merck Records in 2003. Apparently Mythology of the Metropolis was conceived as a love letter to Tokyo as it was primarily created when Wright was living there (he currently calls San Francisco home). And while that's clearly evidenced by track titles like “Tokyo Burning” and “Kinyoubi,” the album's thumping cuts draw more upon the kind of hip-hop, funk, and crunk one associates with US and UK music-making. Wright's hip-hop leanings come markedly to the fore during the trippy crunk-funk stomp of “Broken Synthesizers.” There's sometimes a sc-fi vibe to the material, as heard in the electronic voice that croaks through “The Fall of Humanity,” a collaboration with He Can Jog. Wright's arranging skills are nicely shown by the restraint he brings to a cut like “The Humans Return” where a simple drum pattern and synth bass line provide slinky support for synthetic space melodies (vocodered too) colliding overtop. Guests like Vincent Parker, Artemis Jackson, He Can Jog, and Oly may appear on the album, but Mythology of the Metropolis ultimately sounds like nothing else than a Deceptikon project.

June 2010