Infamously stating, in his most recent bio, that he doesn’t want to make “intelligent” (read: minimal) music is, I guess, not helping. But considering AVH’s confessed anti-intellectualism, it is quite surprising to see how contrived, calculated, and pretty much well thought-about ‘Ghettoblaster’ actually sounds. Tracks like the over-the-top future single ‘I Want Your Soul’, the painfully tacky ‘Je t’aime’ or the acid-lite of ‘A Track Called Jack’ do not have one genuine bone in their sonic body, and collaborations with obscure yet histrionic female vocalists such as Majida, Roxy Cottontal, Lacole ‘Tigga’ Campbell and Nicole Roux (who?) all just enhance the deliberate house-by-numbers nature of the album.
The title alone is trying hard to convey connotations of pre-rave era dance music, a time when hip hop and house rubbed shoulders on Brooklyn streets without feeling the need (yet) for segregation… and, I must admit, ‘Ghettoblaster’ succeeds at it at times, mostly because AVH, whose credentials are usually as volatile as Avenue D’s herpes outbreaks, still somehow know how to get it right: with the pretty mighty ‘Touch Your Toes’ or old-skool cuts such as ‘This Ain’t Hollywood’ and ‘Playmate’, he ends up producing what feels like some Robert Clivilles and David Cole-produced Eleanor Academia lost-and-long-forgotten gems, which is actually more enjoyable than you’d think. Admitting this won’t get me cool points at the RA office, obviously, considering how everyone else seems to be obsessing with anything coming out of Martin Buttrich’s, err, sophisticated butt (wink wink, guys), but if you’re in the mood for unadulterated dumb fun and don’t mind having your entourage thinking you’re, like, a total fag, then this album might go perfectly well with your second-hand Bucci bag and your own personal cohort of Latino trannies and Williamsburg hustlers. Well, at least for this season.
Tue / 22 May 2007
1. Go Crazy! (with Majida)
2. Touch Your Toes (with Fat Joe/BL)
3. I Want Your Soul
4. NYC Beat
5. Playing House (with Kudu)
6. This Ain’t Hollywood (with Will ‘Tha Wiz’ Lemay)
7. Still In Love (with Karmen)
8. Playmate (with Roxy Cottontail/Lacole ‘Tigga’ Campbell)
9. Je T’ Aime (with Nicole Roux)
10. To Be A Freak (with George Llanes)
11. All Nite (with La Roka)
12. A Track Called Jack