Chris Daly spent most of 1996 lamenting that he hadn’t traded his Upper Deck Ken Griffey for four Kevin Maas rookies and the stub of Gregg Jefferies’ eye black.
The equation itself is straightforward enough: pump the synthesizers to the forefront, drop the percussion to background position, and layer on as much sleaze as a Sheen could humanly muster. But the execution, has must be Mortal Kombat-level flawless to bear repeated listens. Credit Comma for mastering the formula on Colortronics, his debut for Frite Nite.
That the beat baron hails from the Bay Area surprises no one with an ear. I have no idea what’s in the water out there, and to be honest, I can’t say as you, the reader, or I, the writer, really care that much. It’s far safer to assume that whatever the local growers have been growing for beat heads to blaze plays a far larger role in the shared experimentation of this progressive musical community.
Opening track “Ken Griffey, Jr.” perfectly embodies the spirit of the album. An almost robotic voice drops in “Holographic sequencer on-line,” introducing the listener to what’s about to follow, an extra-sensory trip into the warped mind of the auteur with a penchant for video games and, ostensibly, other mind altering experiences. Next up are virtually unintelligible vocal snippets over a synth-line so dirty, one could be excused for putting condoms over one’s headphones prior to listening. Have you ever heard lava fuck? Of course, you haven’t. Lava isn’t people. But trust me, this is what it would sound like, all muddy and murky and nasty. Listen close, Grammarians. Comma has secrets to share.