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Synthetic Pleasures 2
Caipirinha Productions
- Tim Owen

In Wire, August 1997, Issue 162.


The manifesto of Caipirinha Productions, contained in the liner notes to Synthetic Pleasures, describes the featured artists as "a gang of audio thugs hell-bent on representing the bleeding edge of nerd audio experimentation". The 'bleeding edge' as distinct from the cutting edge? Certainly this is a fittingly sterile environment for bleeding, as clinically clean and brightly lit as an operating theatre. Caipirinha's role is apparently "to reconcile the disjunctive visions of the producers with a concept of audience". That's us. We, apparently, are "encouraged to lose ourselves in socially constructed technologies which speak so directly to our personal experiences that ... we finally overcome the transference of human essence (labor) into material possessions, and reunite with ourselves in a harmonious communication of human experience." [Terre's note: Talk about decontextualization, this is my elaboration of the point I was CRITIQUING!] We won't be needing this CD then, despite its pleasing variety of laid-back grooves from the likes of Pete Namlook, DJ Spooky, and various lesser known names. [Terre's note: Touché, Mr. Owen. ;-)] DJ Soul Slinger slips a clarinet sample into his slick drum'n'bass; Namlook's Air 3 languidly unspools a vaguely Eastern soundscape of bass and percussion over 18 minutes, but the highlight is by Datacide, aka Atom Heart and Tetsu Inoue, whose delicate "Flowerhead" seems to filter distant funfair organ/jazz club ambience through a backing track of whorls and pulses. Apparently, Synthetic Pleasures seeks not to "elucidate circumstance as much as reference a sense of lack". Perhaps the documentary to which it is the soundtrack will make sense of it all.