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Tony Price - Mark VI Music Album Reviews

Tony Price - Mark VI Music Album Reviews
Armed with a bag full of vintage mixtapes that he discovered in the trunk of a used car, the Toronto producer and U.S. Girls affiliate whips up a lo-fi tribute to ’80s house, techno, and electro.

In 2020, the Toronto-based U.S. Girls affiliate Tony Price bought a used car and found a bunch of old cassettes from the owner, a former radio DJ and archivist, in the trunk. They turned out to contain hours of house and techno mix shows from the late 1980s—sounds that Price pilfered to create his sixth album, Mark VI, which he named in honor of the car in question. A filter-heavy instrumental dance record made almost entirely from synths, drum machines, and samples, it’s a loving pastiche of the era in question whose hissy loops and gurgling basslines are sometimes all but indistinguishable from the original.

Price’s firm command over his materials shows exciting growth. He’s only attempted dance music once before: the 2019 album 86’d, which was sometimes so slapdash it was hard to groove along to the beats despite their clear intent to rock your body. Outside that LP, his dance-music CV has been minimal. His co-production credits lie mostly with non-electronic artists—Young Guv, Michael Rault, U.S. Girls—while under his birth name, Anthony Nemet, he fronted the garage rock band Actual Water. His last album, 2020’s Interview / Discount, was a two-song free-jazz affair; 2018’s experimental Celica Absolu collaged together distorted beats with blues guitar, industrial noise, and dub sirens. Despite the new album’s relatively sleek machine beats, the throughline between his previous projects and Mark VI turns out to be his abiding interest in gritty, lo-fi textures. The difference this time is that he’s using them to make music you can actually dance to.

The album sounds best when Price combines fast-paced, 808-dashed percussion with alarm-like synths. The electronics on “Aerosol” recall the Ghostbusters theme; they open a portal to the ’80s and inject adrenaline into Price’s hand-clapped shuffle. Mark VI’s title track fuses bleating synths and 808s into a body-rocking acid suite with a beat so engrossing that the transition directly into “Prime” is completely seamless. There, harsh synths evoking Galaga alien ships duke it out with phaser-drenched blasts and an accelerating barrage of drum machines. On centerpiece “Valentino,” funk and house smash into an invigorating blend while glitchy electronic chirps raise the already high stakes of the rapid kicks and synthetic slap bass. It’s all pretty advanced, given the haze that lingered over even the most frenetic moments of 86’d. There, he sounded like he was still figuring it out. Here, when he goes high-BPM, he clearly knows what he’s doing.

On the A-side of Mark VI, the tempos are faster, and Price sounds most comfortable in this uptempo zone. The album’s somewhat syrupier, more dialed-back B-side, which eventually decomposes into ambient jazz, isn’t as enticing. “Phreak” boasts the same elements as the A-side’s best moments—serrated synths, a percussive undercurrent—but its slower pace feels comparatively static, like Price left the grooviest parts on the mixing-room floor.

Mark VI’s A-side opens with “Night Time Mind,” a collage of vintage radio ads and broadcast chatter, and side B closes with that track’s presumable companion, “House of Information.” Amid its slowly groaning saxes and purgatory-like, formless synth bubbles—it’s the only track that fully recalls Interview / Discount—an ad for New York’s most expensive escort service stands out. On “Night Time Mind,” the roulette of ad fragments hints at the freewheeling musical approach and fun times ahead; on “House of Information,” they fully pull Mark VI away from electronics and act as a surreal sort of comedown. They almost take on the role of the MC who introduces and closes out Boiler Room sets. But if their lysergic moods indicate avant-garde intentions, the bulk of Mark VI suggests a much simpler purpose to Price’s archaeological experiment in vintage audio: to have a good time.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Tony Price - Mark VI Music Album Reviews Tony Price - Mark VI Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, March 21, 2022 Rating: 5

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