Riding the chipthrash wave that seemed to captivate the scene last summer and autumn, b4by f4c3 brings a lower-fi take on the genre with a more Avant-garde approach. Influenced by chipthrash less from its brutality and more through its melodic loci (if that’s not a paradox), b4by f4c3 continues following that manifesto on his most recent release, ‘waVes’.
Things start out well, with a sample introduction leading into the slowly building lo-fi plod of ‘Insert Into Ears’, which atmospherically sounds oddly reminiscent of The Knife track ‘Stay Out Here’. Album closer ‘Mr.Nelson1934’ follows a similar pattern, evolving like a live jam coated in Acid influences with perfect lo-fi production.
However, elsewhere the EP dips in quality. ‘The Diaz Fiasco’ promises chipthrash mayhem in its introductory tones, but instead we’re given messy noisechip with lacklustre melodies. A lot of the outros on the release feel half-hearted and disorderly, especially in ‘Insert Into Ears’. Also, large amounts of the sampling are hit and miss, for instance ‘Never Nude’ ends with a referential sample of ‘Arrested Development’, and it comes off as nothing but cheesy.
If this were a debut release I’d be more forgiving of the pitfalls, however, being the 11th release on his bandcamp, it’s harder to ignore the faults. The opening sample on ‘Never Nude’ seems to describe the album’s focus, “Let the experiment, begin!”, but the execution isn’t up to scratch. ‘waVes’ doesn’t so much sound like an experimental album deconstructing the noise genre as it does a collection of “the last five songs I wrote” haphazardly slung together.
That feeling of unfocused rashness defines the album as a whole. Whilst chaos is a definitive statement of chipthrash, in the works of shitbird, Optimus Chad and others it sounds deliberate, planned, and precise. However on ‘waVes’ it comes off as inartistic, un-eclectic and aesthetically thin; here chaos is a mirage not a component. If you want a fix of chipthrash, personally I’d check out Datathrash’s bandcamp instead.
Favourite track: Insert Into Ears
1. You Know What
2. Insert Into Ears
3. The Diaz Fiasco
4. Never Nude