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Boomkat Product Review:
'Channel Pressure' is the debut LP from Ford & Lopatin, formerly-known-as Games (Daniel "Oneohtrix Point Never" Lopatin & Joel "Tiger City" Ford). Without a shadow of a doubt it's one of the years defining records, a postmodern pop dazzler patching elements of discoid '80s pop and jazz-funk fusion with early '90s R&B in a lucidly fractal digital simulacra that sounds like an updated and oddly screwed version of classic Scritti Politti. Like any "progressive" album worth it's gatefold sleeve, there's a conceptual narrative at its core: "The year is 2082. Joey Rogers is a Teenage Tech head whose dream is to unplug from reality and jam in the style of his MIDI equipped ancestors", and however corny, it's an idea we can relate to, somehow. It's reflected quite literally in the spot-gloss sleeve, and manifests over 14 geometrically ornate and synco-sensual minor anthems, notably featuring a rare and most welcome vocal appearance from Autre Ne Veut on the cunning R&B couplet of 'Break Inside' and 'I Surrender', and mixing by Guillermo Scott Herren aka Prefuse 73. For the duo, it's a long held childhood dream fulfilled, realising a schoolboy fantasy (they met in sixth grade, bonding over drawing fictional album covers and later, synthesizers) in the authentically equipped studios of Mexican Summer and Jan Hammer, and even features Jan's son, Paul Hammer playing drums on 'Voices'. While there's a laregly unfu**able sincerity to their intentions, it's not without a wry sense of humour, embracing the saturation of modern digital life yet subverting it with subtle ambiguities, warping the collective memory banks like some cunningly implanted psychoactive memory chip. We can't wait for the lazer disc version, but until then this is pretty much an essential.