5 posts / 0 new
Last post

I'm just wondering if any of you are familiar with the band SeLF, who as a bedroom recording group released an album back in 2000 that was done entirely using children's toys as instruments, entitled GIZMODGERY.

If you've never heard this album, give it a spin. There are some great tracks there, and hopefully it will lend you some inspiration as to the amazing possibilities of DIY recording.

i am a confirmed sElf fan, living in nashville during the period that they were active (they were a murfreesboro band). i went to the album release show for "breakfast with girls" at the exit/inn back in the day. somewhere i have a "trunk fulla amps" b/w "m*****f*****" t-shirt that no longer fits, that song is on Gizmodgery.
i'm not sure the omnichord they use is necessarily a kid's instrument, but it certainly adds much to the album, as it does to various ratatat albums.
i was slightly amazed to see any mention of this band that had such an effect on me. their debut album, "Subliminal Plastic Motives," is my favorite of theirs, and is one of the few albums i find almost perfect. it skirts the edges of being "overly topical" in such gems as "big important nothing," a takedown of lisa marie presley that dates the album while containing a virtually industrial break in the middle of an immaculately constructed pop song based on a jazz piano progression. you might remember "so low" or "cannon" from MTV rotation back in the day. they are both from this album. SPM is the album that inspired me the most, by the way, and i heartily recommend it. rock riffs, hip hop production, and excellent songwriting combine to put it over the top for me. and the structure of "lucid anne," alternating measures of 8/8 and 6/8, will appeal to even the proggers amongst us.

subliminal plastic motives:

it says an error has occurred at first, but then plays the songs in the order of the album, though not with superlative sound. a slice of mid 90s rock with endless invention in its sound. a listen to just the first song "borateen" with a dizzying whiplash production veering from heavy riffing to an interlude of crickets (yes, crickets) shows the endless invention that matt mahaffey and his brother mike produce on this album.
highly recommended to anyone who is a fan of the studio as a production tool in its own right. and matt was an in-demand drummer for loops on nashville rap and R&B albums in the nineties for a reason-- he can effortless switch where he plays on the beat, his style, and his feel at will. i hope you enjoy it as much as i have for years.

Nice, I'm not alone in my love of sElf (double entendre intended)!

I'd have loved to have had a chance to pick their brains back in the day. . . such a monumentally creative team! Unfortunately, it seems Mike died a few years ago. Matt, I think, is now a bigtime producer working the shallow trenches of Hollywood.

Nice suggestion, I'll check it out!

There's a Brazilian band called Pato Fu that did the same, their album is called "Música de Brinquedo", which means "Toy Music" in Portuguese: