Upset Ducks is Reidl's debut LP, recorded in Schaerding, Northern Austria and named for its effect on the local duck population at high volumes. Like T. Raumschmiere, Reidl clearly relishes his gruff reputation, playing it up in titles (‘Appetite for Destruction’, ‘Aggrobatik’), but he’s not nearly as wilfully juvenile as his Berlin cousin. Indeed, Upset Ducks reveals Basteroid as more tender than you might think: the overriding sentiment here is one of joyous dancefloor abandon, albeit one that’s beginning to turn nasty. The queasiness comes from the grafting of unnaturally garish tones and hand-crafted, shoddy programming onto overtly functional, almost classic dance music structures. Partying like it’s 1989, Basteroid makes the mannered, pernickety blips of minimal sound positively icy.
Opener '16 Steps to the Stars' is classic Basteroid: drums loud, synths crazed, hitched to a classic acid riff that's showing its age in wrinkles and girth. 'I Want to 34' is enamoured with rave too, thick bass tones offsetting bold hands-in-the-air chords and disorienting whoomps. Starting out deceptively calm, ‘Pulsador de Alarma’ soon grows to similar proportions, tacky steel drums and sirens all bleeding into the red, every space covered with distorted grit. Elsewhere, quirkier avenues are explored less successfully – ‘Jacktales’ grafts familiar Basteroid clunk onto a clumsy 2-step, while ‘How not to Play Piano’ is a sparse experiment in reversed sampling. But straightahead banging is what’s wanted here, and that what’s delivered for the most part.
Short on depth, perhaps, but as his contributions to Jan Erik Kaiser's Bis Neun sets makes clear, Basteroid brings mixes to life.