Proptronix boss Matthew Curry operates under the quixotic ethos that electronic music can be both humorous and good — rarely does this approach result in records you want to play more than twice. But the San Francisco label has gotten off to a promising start with its Electric Pants comps and Pigeon Funk releases, featuring Bay Area mavericks such as Joshua Kit Clayton, Sutekh, and Curry himself (as Safety Scissors), whose work is lauded by “serious” journalists and DJs.
The same won’t apply to My Robot Friend’s Hot Action! The project of a New Yorker who claims to have a penis that shoots “flames, sparks, and confetti,” MRF makes instantly memorable lo-fi disco, and also squelches up rock warhorses like “I Can’t Explain” and “Louie Louie” with stainless-steel tongue planted in cheek: Imagine if Adult. were fronted by a funny gay geek instead of a female fashionista. (“Walking Jewish” hilariously recounts a bar mitzvah boy getting it on with his cantor.) If you possess a strong tolerance for kooky They Might Be Giants-gone-Devo pop and spazzy, quaint synth sounds, you’ll dig Hot Action!
Meanwhile, [a]pendics.shuffle (prolific Los Angeles producer Ken Gibson) lets his music provoke the ha-has on Smooth Hair. He finds the most innately funny sounds from his gear and runs them through processes that enhance their humorousness. The record also reflects the complex rhythm programming and bizarre textures Gibson plies under his Eight Frozen Modules moniker, but here the aim is more lighthearted: Call it giggle glitch or slapstick techno.