steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"1000 Dollar Headphones" CDR

Tokyo Rose Records

Genres: electronica, IDM, glitch-pop

Tokyo Rose
4222 Chambers
Cincinnati OH 45223

June 21 - 27 2004

Lesniak is the electronic music project of Jeremy Lesniak, who is also involved in a number of other bands and collectives, including Hearts Of Palm, Burning Star Core, and Culture Queer1000 Dollar Headphones is out now on the increasingly prolific Cincinnati Tokyo Rose label, and it uses a combination of electronic elements and acoustic instrumentation to make for a surprisingly unique listen.  However, this unapologetic originality also makes for an album destined to a limited fanbase - parts of this are too obscure or experimental to catch on with a vast audience.

Upon first listen, 1000 Dollar Headphones comes off as nothing more than a home-brewed electronica experiment.  The cover art is intentionally DIY, and the music, though occasionally quite melodic, is not particularly infectious.  Multiple listens warrant better results, and start to uncover some exceptional tracks.  The glitchy vocal-dissection of  "Where Is The Fun" is quite pleasant, in a similar vein to Funkstörung's remix of Bjork's "All Is Full of Love."  Meanwhile, "Babies Last Breath" has a deceptively funky mood, and "Detached Observer" is a remarkably rollicking slice of techno with dark vocals laid overtop.

Overall, this is an interesting - albeit inessential - selection of electronic music.  As his first dip into the genre, this is a pretty successful release for Jeremy Lesniak, who would be well advised to explore more of this type of acoustic/electronic hybrid music in the future.  I dig.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]