Raoul Sinier: Brain Kitchen
Ad Noiseam

Following rapidly on the heels of his remix set Huge Samurai Radish, Raoul Sinier (formerly Ra) fearlessly forges ahead with a fourteen-track opus of mangled hip-hop beats, twisted electro, and viral themes. On the Paris-based producer's third full-length Brain Kitchen, seemingly every track is buried under an impenetrably dense mass of chopped voices, throat-severing beats, and assorted other mayhem yet carousel melodies still manage to fight their way to the surface (e.g., the whirligig and sing-song themes in “Listen Close” and “Stone Pills,” respectively). Though familiar, “Huge Samurai Radish” is one of the better tracks here though its bright hip-hop flow would likewise benefit from a less cluttered arrangement. Other tracks place Sinier's beat-smithing skills front and center, such as “Brain Kitchen,” which first enters a dark IDM zone before a massive drum kick plunges it deeper, and “Solid Flesh,” which opens with a tasty hip-hop vibe before moving into big beat territory. Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of Ra's sound is the tension between child-like melodies and his penchant for claustrophobic arrangements that constantly threaten to overwhelm them. At times the mix is so thick, a given track collapses under its weight (e.g., “King Frog”), and occasionally Sinier's taste for noise either causes indigestion (e.g., “The Incredible Spitting Machine”) or induces headache (“Ants Mayhem”). Definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

July 2008