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Mixel Pixel - Contact Kid (Cover Artwork)

Mixel Pixel

Mixel Pixel: Contact KidContact Kid (2005)
Kanine

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)

To the left, my brother struggles at a game of PuyoPop Fever on his Nintendo DS. On the opposite side of the notebook, my friend Jen sinks a hole-in-one on her PSP during a round of Hot Shots Golf. While this is going on, the video game-sampling experimental rock outfit Mixel Pixel beams from the gh.
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To the left, my brother struggles at a game of PuyoPop Fever on his Nintendo DS. On the opposite side of the notebook, my friend Jen sinks a hole-in-one on her PSP during a round of Hot Shots Golf. While this is going on, the video game-sampling experimental rock outfit Mixel Pixel beams from the ghastly speakers on my iBook. All is perfect in the mobile digital worldâ?¦

Contact Kid, the third full-length from Brooklyn's (by way of Delaware) eccentric art-pop Mixel Pixel is as dancey as it is fun and dangerously hip. Although every dumpster-diving, tight jean-clad indie rocker is experimenting with a lousy Casio, Mixel Pixel still maintain an inimitable sound as they dance around the edges of lo-fi rock and an appropriate amount of 8-bit ambience.

The eerie opener, "I Am The Contact Kid," audibly illustrates that comparisons to material released in the early Sub-Pop days are more accurate than synth-driven acts like Thunderbirds Are Now! or Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! (I should throw in chk-chk-chk to obtain that third exclamation point in a row). Their sound comes alive on "Mantis Rock," and if you have a copy of Beck's Gameboy-influenced Hell Yes EP in your possession, you can obtain an idea of just what Mixel Pixel's sound entails.

In any instance, when a group of musicians incorporates a digital aspect to their sound it often overshadows the other recorded talents. In Mixel Pixel's defense, there is elaborate guitar involvement that often formulates their dual genre tag of "electronic/folk." The latter half of the 10-track album emphasizes the strings portion more so than on songs like "Little Wolverine" and the aptly titled "Tell Tale Drum Machine," which both sport their share of digitally-recorded instruments in an upbeat fashion, even a toe-tapping keyed solo in the former.

The autobiographical album standout, "At The Arcade," is a love song implanted in the trio's natural habitat that sports one of the catchiest instrumental intros of the year and successfully mixes the traditional instruments with the digital for the first time on the record. After enjoying their diverse and expansive talents during the instrumental "Gas House Gables," my hometown is called out on "Pittsburgh Brain" and the closer "The Drag City Starlet," which happens to be two of the few cohesive songs on Contact Kid proving that the members are endowed musicians and are not relying on the arpegeiator to create the tunes for them.

Mixel Pixel is a little rough on the edges, and in a musical era when synth is as popular now as it was over two decades ago, it could be written off easily by just about anyone who is tired of having this revival shoved deep down their ears. Taken lightly and without too much disparagement and you're listening to one of the more pleasurable releases of the year.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Karasu (June 16, 2005)

I can see them making a PSP phone. Then Ill buy an old fasion six shooter and a bullet.

Anchors (June 15, 2005)

Yeah Kirby, chill out on the technological talk, you don't want to make the less electronically fortunate feel bad.

I mean, BSD doesn't have a computer, or internet access, or probably not even electricity. He's above the materialistic values of the rest of us.

Anonymous (June 15, 2005)

OH! SNES on YOUR "PSP"?!? I'm so happy for the digital worlds of infinite earths on tomorrow!!

Get a life, you materialistic wank-stain.

-BSD

Anonymous (June 14, 2005)

I saw them for free sometime last week. Some tracks were pretty good, but there was a lot of filler. The bassist was a funny man, though.

Rob.

kirbypuckett (June 14, 2005)

Also, for those PSP owners in the U.S. with the 1.5 firmware.

There MIGHT be a hack coming out that will allow homebrew software tomorrow.

It's all rumors right now, but I believe a few credible sources have noted that tomorrow will be their release date.

I'm iffy on believing this stuff, but if I can play SNES on my PSP I'll be really excited!!!

- Kirby

lou (June 14, 2005)

hmm... i want to go. kirby, wanna come pick me up?

kirbypuckett (June 14, 2005)

For those in Pittsburgh, the band is playing at the Garfield Artworks tonight!!!

- Kirby

Marlon (June 14, 2005)

Moo sucks!

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