Bilxaboy: Kliks & Politiks

Blixaboy is a new name (to me at least) but Mwanza “Wanz” Dover has been an active presence in the music scene for the past few decades. He previously toiled in the ‘90s space-rock band Mazinga Phaser and a subsequent outfit called The Falcon Project, studied composition and sound design at the University of North Texas's Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (C.E.M.I.), and oversees a Dallas-based Ableton user group. Dover's production endeavours gained traction when he issued a limited-run Blixaboy album entitled Digital Daze and when Mary Anne Hobbs featured Blixaboy tracks on her BBC Radio 1 program, Dubstep Warz, in 2009. But, of course, his current focus is the latest collection under the Blixaboy name, Kliks & Politiks, a thoroughly accomplished fifty-minute ride that showcases Dover's highly personalized take on the dubstep genre, one that pulls into its orbit elements of dub, funk, and electronica.

Fabulous opener “New Age Dubsteppa” catches one's ear immediately by pairing a wiry melody voiced by what sounds like a roughed-up slide guitar with creamy dub chords and a robust dubstep groove. Radiant synth patterns introduce “Robot Girlz,” after which pulsating beat crunch alternates with bass wobble, with occasional shouts of “Science!” (lifted from Thomas Dolby's “They Blinded Me With Science”?) punctuating the mayhem. “Gamma World” is as much Dover's take on dub-techno as dubstep proper, and for all that is as much about electronic funk, given the tune's powerful body-shaking character. The album's chock full of blazing steppers and bass-thumpers such as “Icey Hot” and “Kurt Bamf,” and Dover's choices are generally spot-on though the rolling, Eastern-inflected pulse animating “Lion Eyes” could do just as well minus the vocal presence of Emil Rapstine (whose lyrics riff off of the standard “Fools Rush In”). Kliks & Politiks isn't just about beats either, as Dover gives a generous amount of attention to the tracks' melodic dimension and synthetic polish too, something a single listen to “Politiks” confirms. The album's material ultimately calls to mind Modern Love artists like Pendle Coven and Demdike Stare as much as it does Tectonic associates such as Pinch or Peverelist.

December 2010