The two guys that make up iNSiDEaMiND aren’t exactly your run-of-the-mill turntablists. These dudes’ brains were at some point snatched-up and manipulated by Martians, and then beamed back to us earthlings to create music for both our listening pleasure and bewilderment. Gathering the pieces of 2006’s FragMental, Scatterpopia is the second dose of ambient energy released by the Toronto masterminds. Since their first recording in 2007, iNSiDEaMiND have made waves by meticulously freaking vinyl samples into a screwed-up electronic junkyard of sounds, shapes, and question marks. In this project the artists, Professor Fingers and Steptone, take a trek off the deep end into a mythical land called “Scatterpopia,” mangling the listener’s preconceptions with mischievous beats and tangled mixes.
Songs like “Yellow, Orange, & Red Lightning” pick up frequencies of experimental rhythms that would be audibly impossible if not for a steady drum pattern and swift time management. These electrifying jolts of color segue into textured juxtapositions of action and nature in “Tumbling Towards…(wet interlude),” featuring a rainstorm so real you can catch the droplets in your palm. The dense, spooky brush of “Turntable Forest” opens into a blinding sandstorm of scratches in “Bits Unknown,” before fading into the album’s rare instances of human contact as Sarah Sayeed breathes life into love on “Whispering Through Windows.”
iNSiDEaMiND possess a keen ear for music and its possibilities. By repositioning and then juggling the otherwise unnoticeable they manage to invent oddly lucid potions that are equal parts fantasy and reality. Creaking wood floors and a winding jack-in-the-box are anchored by saxophone freestyles and hip-hop tinges. The sounds on Scatterpopia won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s hard to hate on their ingenuity. This 16-track LP is a zig-zagging doozy of an album that certainly has a sense of humor, but doesn’t dare make any promises.
– Andrea Boston