Marking the fourth release for Michael Allen, aka Roboctopus, ‘Disco.txt’ sees further exploration into timeless genres and eclectic composition. Released on chip’s most recently expanding label, Cheapbeats, Roboctopus continues his ascension of quality, and with more panache than ever.
‘Disco.txt’ is a series of euphoric moments tied together by lavishly fantastic melodies. The title track’s climax hits the soft spot, leaving you elated as a result, and the arps in ‘Dans le Beurre’ are magnificent. After ‘Racer Hex’ does find its feet following a forgettable minute and a half, it’s a mainline injection of adrenaline and spaced-out dynamisms with swaggerful bass manipulation. Elsewhere, ‘Pegasus Four’ sounds oddly reminiscent of a similarly titled Starscream EP, and the melodies throughout are superb, whilst ‘Born, Dancing’, the best track on the release by far, mixes elements of R&B, Latin dance and cyber-pop-punk into a medley of half-Ubiktune half-8BitPeoples styled melodic domination.
As for negatives, where there are some, they are usually missteps rather than full fuck ups. The background scales on 'Dans le Beurre' get a bit tiresome, ‘I Come in Peas’ is an irrelevancy, and ‘Famous Last Birds’ is an incredibly weak song compared to its adjacent brethren, full of bad sampling choices and borderline boring composition.
So, whilst this isn’t a perfect 10, it’s still a strong 9. Two tracks out of nine falter, but this is mainly due to comparison with their own neighbours; Roboctopus only fails by outdoing himself. It’s hard not to with melodies like those in ‘Twisty Little Passages’, which are some of the best I’ve heard ever, or the early 00’s pop beauty of ‘A Long Time Ago Tomorrow Morning’. With a style and ability as versatile as Michael’s, there is no limit to where he could go next, and as such it’s hard to speculate. One thing’s for sure, you should count yourself lucky it was this scene he chose to make his home.
Favourite track: Born, Dancing
2. Pegasus Four
3. Famous Last Birds
4. Dans le Beurre
5. Racer Hex
6. A Long Time Ago Tomorrow Morning
7. I Come in Peas
8. Twisty Little Passages
9. Born, Dancing