Headboggle’s previous album Polyphonic Demo is an album that we love. It’s also one of those albums we never quite managed to finalise and publish the review at the time. Whilst we can’t remember the fine details, Polyphonic Demo required a lot of thought to navigate the rapid-fire avalanche of ideas. 44 one-minute pieces, many of which could easily be regarded as audio trailers, created a labyrinthine form where everything had an equal footing in the whole. A conceptual framework positioning the album like a series of cues ideal for tv, film or just larger pieces. Polyphonic Demo was an album that required you to keep checking whatever device you’d hit play on, simply to remind yourself what you were actually listening to…
So one of the first things that’s apparent with it’s follow up – Digital Digital Analog, is that whilst it is easy to guess that 60 second duration still underpins much of what’s gathered here, the actual music has been allowed to respond, develop and dissolve the framework based on the music itself.
Headboggle is the long-term project of Derek Gedalecia, a San Franciso based musician that has released countless albums. But based on Polyphonic Demo and Digital Digital Analog, the extent of his discography we know, it is easy to see his music as some electronic fantasy rippling with modular synths and elasticated psychedelic sound design.
As the label releasing this album – Ratskin Records suggest, Raymond Scott feels like a significant element in what goes here but everywhere has a weird hypnogogic glow. Digital animation, filtered through VHS distortion and odd new age cheese rendered in bizarre ways.
Ancient Trap sounds like a wrongly judged soundtrack to some hugely pixelated Indiana Jones computer game, and Thud Club is a collision between laser beams. Ballroom Psych is electronic chaos retracing piano keys… Oddly, the brief Embers conveys the biggest space – a huge galaxy of bending wobbliness.
It is apparent pretty quickly that this album is makes as much sense as you need it to. It’s just a gathering of warm electronic nonsense. Funk Randy has the ghost of groovy disco bass and Epic Soundtracks keeps falling through aural trapdoors like brain ripples.
In fact the whole experience quickly descends into a process that’s pointless to attempt to map. Each title simply offering some skewed idea about its own internal workings. Data Entry feels like a file transfer that’s activating some electronic effects, Screenshot is a balmy tropical village in a computer game. The Great Chicago Jam is some victorious psychedelic anthem, Gutter Boys is mangled rock covered in syrupy electronics.
24 pieces whizz past in 36 minutes and the whole idea feels like a bottomless pit of invention. Whilst it’s easy to say Digital Digital Analog, just like its predecessor, attempts to cover too much ground, that’s clearly part of the point.
A crazy, wild and at times demented voyage through vignettes that describe whole worlds…
Digital Digital Analogue is out now on vinyl, cassette and digital on Ratskin Records