Artist: Toxic Chicken
Title: Into The Hidden Place
Label: Dog Park Records
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
Shh… yes, I am sorry I’ve blindfolded you like this, and have dragged you hours through forest trails and across rickety wooden bridges, but we are headed Into A Hidden Place, and trust me, you’re gonna love what you see and hear! Pui pui, bok bok bok… ah, we seem to have arrived just in time. Ta-da!
Yes, it is a brand new album by our beloved Toxic Chicken, on the fabulosa record label Dog Park Records! It does not get much better than this, so let’s open our minds and our ears to the weirdness!
The first track is called ‘Into The Hidden Place’, and it is a magical piece of music right at the start. Voices bounce up and down with a bouncy synth bass coming through too! So many wonderful and excellent sounds all over, dripping from every surface of the wall, and the voices buzz around within and among them. It’s like listening to a scurrying pack of various animals who are all friends singing to you in a brightly paneled playhouse, finding logs and twigs for you to sit on while they chat with you, and then we all dance and it’s just a really refreshing and fun day with sunshine coming in through the windows. This chicken music is like, the pinnacle of playful electronic micro sounds!
‘Into IT’ is next. It’s like being in a Mondrian bathtub filled with oddly shaped speaking blocks who insist on winding all these clocks up and telling you to hurry. Barely enough time to scrub under the pencil scribble shower, but then it fizzles away with a choir of blurbling.
Track 3 is ‘Dino Felipe’, named after one of our favorite artists, and including sampled chopped up sounds from unknown musics of his! I feel like the midi is rocking out, breathy pan flutes come in, growling voices, chirping voices. It’s getting sunny again, like a strange beach. Maybe we will toss a ball around here, or build sandcastles of music together. There’s a dog now! This is amazing.
Next up is ‘ASEAN’, a collaboration of Toxic Chicken & Bloom. There are some stretched vocals, some strings, an organ floating around, up-pitched scrambled percussion. It’s a beautiful piece of music! Harmonic horn stabs come in… it really feels like we’re flying through the sky, or on a motor bike, driving on neon clouds over a super-continent. It’s like toyland dub. Now we’re in a supermarket, and realize we were just in our heads, as people scan various products in a mechanical way in the checkout line. Laser blasts make the track feel like it’s multiplying chaotically!
There are lovely playful tones on ‘Trashy dis Ney’, another collaboration this time featuring Agnes Pe! White noise and bits of nature float in, and we’re in a serene jungle, playing with toucans and lions. This is a fun work that makes me feel happy, like only Toxic Chicken and friends can! Even the cat I live with in this apartment seems relaxed by this music, as well as the heat outside wafting in, and wants to lay at the top of her cat tree with paws outstretched over the sides. Yes, even cats can enjoy the sounds at Dog Park! The music gets more intense, melodic, bleeping computational loop structures.
Toxic Chicken and Bloom once again collab on the ‘Thank You Song’, a repeating organ and micro rhythm, some singing! It’s a fun, birdlike statement of music that seems to say, thank you. The cat seems curious now, and must wonder what I am doing, but relaxes soon again, and seems lost in contemplation.
Then, we have a very pretty song called ‘A Lovely Broken Heart’. It is melodic and has frenetic drums which at first seem introspective, but then can’t help but flutter, like a heart. It is spinning, sparkling, dazzling, flying with its tiny wings everywhere it can go, like molecules of air.
‘Dakterras At Gifgrond’ is very dancy, and at first seems to be made of bubbles and drums. The melody is fun! It makes you want to dance, and cry, but also feel happy. It is probably my favorite of the songs here. It is funny how electronics can sometimes seem to buzz with pure emotions, and say so many things.
The last is ‘Agens Pe GRAND DUQUE BARLO’ and it features funky stomping bongo blips, strange samples and noises hitting all over. The cat’s eyes are closed, but I can see her ears moving around, as if to try and capture all the sounds. Gritty, computerized pulse wave tones seem to buzz buzz like bees…
… yes, it has sadly ended, but the adventure for you can continue by hearing all this for yourself! I mean, you really must, it is fantastic and weird music!!! 😀 Here’s that link, for your clicking pleasure: