Sloppy Seconds

This is not a full, track-by-track review for two reasons. Firstly, the compilation isn't finished yet, so I don't have access to every track. Secondly, and more importantly, if I were to write a mere ten words about each track on the CD, I'd probably have to publish this review as a book -- it'd run to well over 40,000 words!

For those of you haven't yet deciphered the compilation's pun-tastic title, allow me to explain: 'Sloppy Seconds' is an effort to fill an 80-minute CD-R with 4800 pieces of music, each exactly one second in length.

On first reading about this, I was apprehensive to say the least. Could I really concentrate on a new track every second? Would my delicate ears withstand the sonic bombardment? Most importantly, would my brain explode?

Despite my initial fears, however, I found ‘Sloppy Seconds’ surprisingly entertaining. Granted, this isn’t a CD for the leisurely listener -- if you even think about taking some time to ponder a track, you’ll miss the next three in the blink of an eye (or, erm, three seconds) -- but it’s worth a listen for the sheer thrill-factor. ‘Sloppy Seconds’ is the antithesis of the traditional ‘mix’ -- it’s a high-octane contrast-fest.

While I don’t have a complete copy of the compilation (nobody does yet, as it isn’t finished), I do have a sample mp3, which, although short by normal standards, contains about twenty different songs. I thought it might be interesting to review the first ten:

Track 1 - Id M Theft Able - 1 Second Of April 7th 2006: A female voice speaks softly. Unfortunately, no amount of messing with my volume controls would allow me to comprehend the message of this mysterious woman.

Track 2 - Amigo Result - Persilja: Cranking the volume up in order to hear Track 1 turned out to be an idea of dubious wisdom when Track 2 took the stage and nearly destroyed my speakers. It appears to be a loud, percussive sound, with a dash of sci-fi laser sound-effect.

Track 3 - NovaHead vs. ChickenTron - No One In Japan Ever Calls Me Anymore: This could almost be a reversed Track 2, retaining some of the spaceman goodness, but sounding like it’s being played on vinyl and then ripped from the record player. All in the space of one second.

Track 4 - Overstuurde Madam- Bol Af: Probably the weakest of the ten tracks -- harsh white noise with some strange bleepy sounds in the background.

Track 5 - Joonas Jaatinen - Sekka: A voice, probably male, singing eerily into an over-driven microphone.

Track 6 - Pine Tree State Mind Control - Hab: A more traditional composition here -- drums, bass and guitar. Could be a sample from another song or an original piece. Either way, it’s actually quite a catchy little riff.

Track 7 - Hvuud - Are You: Another white noise number, but a little softer than 4. A bit boring.

Track 8 - Syphilis Sauna - Kjae: Track 8 certainly wins the ‘Coolest Looking When Opened Up In A Sound Editor’ award. It’s hard to describe, but a bit like liquid dripping down a wall. As for the sound itself, it’s a bit noisy, but with noticeable structure and development, and a clear ending.

Track 9 - Hu''ljou - +;909a: After hours of deep consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is either the sound of a rapid-fire ray-gun or a pneumatic drill destroying a Gameboy.

Track 10 - Kidnappin' Puke - I Brake Your Nose: There are two distinct elements in our final track of the day -- one could, in fact be the reverse of the other. There’s a nice gap in the middle, giving the listener about 2 milliseconds to think.

All in all, not too sloppy! Some of the tracks have clearly had quite a bit of work put into them, and definitely benefit from it.

A thrilling listen, no doubt about it, but that was a mere ten seconds. The project still has a long way to go to meet its 4800-track goal. You can help it get there, actually, as they’re accepting public submissions. Move your cursor on up to that address bar, kid, and get to their website (http://www.obscurica.com/sloppy_seconds.html) for more information.

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