Vorpal: An Incomplete Guide to Vorpal Music
Cockrock Disco Records

Superficially reminiscent of Squarepusher and other edit-crazed drill’n’bass fanatics, the thirteen pieces constituting Andy Kozloski’s Vorpal debut constantly threaten to collapse into tiny shards of unrelated noise yet somehow hold together long enough to suggest an organizing sensibility of some repute toiling behind the green curtain. Anchored by beats perpetually caught in a seizure-like grip, the 44-minute set wisely leaves enough room for melodic sun to shine onto a number of cuts too. In “Track #13,” jittery breakbeats clatter and hiccup while faint snippets of melody struggle to articulate something meaningful while vestiges of sunny melodies warble through the micro-pockets of space not filled by scurrying beats in “Hip Hop Wabisabi.”

Vorpal’s material succeeds most when the fragmentation impulse is kept under a tighter leash; compared to the convulsively belching “You Treacherous Girl,” “Gaslight,” “Slow Motion Evil,” and “Pinot Noir film,” for instance, play it (relatively) straight and sound all the better for doing so. Oddly, Kozloski even indulges a classical jones (Satie’s delicate melodies are smothered with hiccupping lunacy in “Gymnopédie v1.01” while “November-014” subjects a section of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 to a similar fate) with the results merely interesting as opposed to wholly convincing. While it's hard to concur with the label’s (tongue-in-cheek) contention that An Incomplete Guide to Vorpal Music “is the greatest album ever made,” it’s certainly a satisfying enough exercise in jittery breakbeat melodicism.

November 2005