Mr Geoffrey & JD Franzke: Get a Room

Recently Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis) garnered a bucketload of attention for Night Ripper, a plunderphonic mix assembled from cheesy soft rock, grunge, R&B, and rock anthems. The release didn't interest me, not merely because it included material I'd prefer never to have to hear again in this lifetime, but also because Gillis's approach seems so obvious. On Get a Room, Australian provocateurs Mr Geoffrey & JD Franzke offer a considerably more imaginative and arresting spin on the concept, especially when the first piece alone features the ‘Velvet Fog' himself, Mel Tormé, and Duke Ellington. More ‘mixscape' than ‘mixtape,' Get a Room wends a 26-track and 76-minute travelogue through dreamy steel guitar settings, Tango Nuevo (a gorgeous milonga by tango master Astor Piazzolla), smoky torch balladeering, and Rhythm & Sound dub. Mr Geoffrey & JD Franzke add to the material in almost subliminal manner—a dash of electronic glissandi here, a car horn or speaking voice there—and use field noises (recorded in Nepal, Thailand, India, and Melbourne) and vinyl crackle as connecting threads throughout. With one ‘scene' dissolving into the next, Get a Room exudes a markedly cinematic character, so much so that one effortlessly conjures the visuals for one's personalized video accompaniment. Biographical info accompanying the release astutely notes that the duo's approach has “more in common with the wanderings of the Flaneur than a night club patron chasing a beat” and, refreshingly, Mr Geoffrey & JD Franzke opt for morning-after languor rather than dance club frenzy.

January 2007