Coming out on 10/14/16. C60 – orange shell with black imprints. Pro-dubbed chrome + cassette. 2-sided 3-panel J-card with artwork from Max Allison.
Doug Kaplan wants you to be happy, to stare into the digital void, and to merrily prank you into a puddle of fractals. As MrDougDoug, he makes music to entertain and challenge in equal measure. The MIDI-contorting sci-fi opus SOS Forks AI REM represents his debut album of solo material on Hausu Mountain, after a split with fellow HausMo co-founder Mukqs in 2013. While Doug continues to explore the possibilities of noise improvisation and guitar performance in the trio Good Willsmith and other projects, SOS Forks AI REM finds him harnessing his in-the-box production experience to create an album entirely using software instruments. MrDougDoug drudges up pre-existing MIDI files from the Internet Archive’s Geocities Collection and freemidi.org and overhauls them to suit his twisted tastes. Kaplan’s style of re-contextualization balances the spastic urges of John Oswald‘s plunderphonic pop experiments with the attention to production detail and cyborg texture of Oneohtrix Point Never – all while maintaining a sense of reckless glee and mischief reminiscent of The Residents‘ stable on Ralph Records. After MrDougDoug tinkers with the tempos and redefines each individual voice in his files, the results are virtually unrecognizable from the karaoke-core MIDI arrangements of popular tunes that they once were.
MrDougDoug‘s tracks take on their own characters, flecked with laugh-out-loud juxtapositions and passages of dizzying complexity. The A-side of SOS Forks AI REM reaches us as a seamless mix of numerous short tracks of varying audio qualities, pinballing between consonant dance workouts and heavy bursts of hyperactive noise. MrDougDoug combines the sugar rush energy and bit-crushed textures of video game music with the warp-speed tempos and blast beat percussion of black metal. Mallet-like tones and bell voices akin to gamelan speed through the shells of compositions sourced from rock, reggae, country, even minimalism – yielding some mutated incarnation of EDM fit for a robot carnival in the 69th century. On the album’s B-side, MrDougDoug flips the script in favor of complete ego death, and we enter a psychedelic waiting room dimension where you wait for Jerry for an indeterminable duration. As he dials the tempos down to below 33 beats per minute, he tailors some tones to drone and linger in the mix, while others sound out for tiny moments before the digital silence swallows them. MrDougDoug imagines a future where speakers continue to shrink and shrink, from earbuds to phone speakers to biologically integrated playback devices sounding out of minuscule flesh amplifiers, blasting into the realms of unprecedented fidelities. SOS Forks AI REM, then, is what emerges from those pore-sized speakers. Each note overloads the device, and each track overloads the brain.