The more enlightened
among us might recognize young Dylan Ettinger sans
Heat as one of the monsieurs behind the El Tule tape label, for
which he's also put out a handful of
releases. This allegedly smouldering
record comes to me in plain white jacket with hand-written artist
name/title, allowing me a sense of context-free anticipation. What
to expect? Noise? Free jazz? J-poop? Payola$ covers?
Turns out my latter guess wriggled
closest to the heart of the matter. Side A's "Smokin'"
comes replete with really great sireny, whiny synths and luscious
sax slurs laid over drums and
intergalactic electronic swirls. It's decked in a great pseudo-80s
tinny sound, all gleaming like the intro to some instructional VHS
tape or a random instrumental B-side off a pilfered discount-bin 45.
For all its retro dabbling, it's a strangely intoxicating bit of
sweetness -- sort of wistful and melodic,
yet inarguably idiosyncratic.
The other side houses
"Miami Heat (The Stakeout)"
-- a neat little b-ballin', crime-bustin' romper. On this little
number, we're treated to more good ol' tinny sax n' synths, but a
brooding drum line helps beat out a
darker, even menacing affair. I'm picturing this as the soundtrack
to a seedy midnight street scene in some dystopian eighties
thriller, kind of like a Tangerine Dream-scored hybrid of
Running Man and After Hours. It's smooth, devious and
somehow addicting. And like
the A-side, it's not worth missing.