There is a boy. It is one of those nights where the heat pervades every part of the air and sits like a blanket. It is too hot to sleep. Frustrated. He rises and sighs a deeply. It’s 1989. He just moved here. He switches on the TV, the well-worn Nintendo, and the 4-track. Lonely. It’s 2AM. He sinks himself into expressing in music.
When I listened to this Fun Toy EP, I was that boy. I was listening to this escapism made musical.
This is hip hop and videogames.
I do not know if Daniel Breiter a.k.a Fun Toy meant to get across this feeling in this self-titled EP. What I do know is that he has not just created music, he has created a character.
Disintegration is the keyword here. Whether it is through the disintegrating heavily-phased vocal samples that cut through the swagger of Just Put Some Blood On It or the sound of time disintegrating and collapsing in on itself that makes up the track Lions, complimented by Twisted Whistle which features a sample originally culled from 1968 thriller film Twisted Nerve, made famous in Quentin Tarentino’s Kill Bill. What one senses is that this is music of alienation, a sense of haunting nostalgia, like recalling a childhood memory that you rather avoid, yet you can’t because it is a pivotal moment that made you who you are. As the tracks go by and get more glitchy, the only sense of a anchor one can grasp onto is the dubstep style bass lines that pervade each track, we feel as if our protagonist has vented what he needed to vent and has grown more weary. By the final track Which Cat we get a greater sense of acceptance, dramatized by the uplifting piano riff interspersed between what is possibly the most ethereal sonoshphere of the tracks on the EP, this proves to be a fitting close upon the album.
This album is one which is best fitting with headphones in place, sprawled across the bed and the mind left to dance upon its eccentricities and nuances. This is music that I’m sure will trigger something in everyone, something that hasn’t been triggered in years, a feeling or a memory. It took me back to my youth, the late 90s, to me playing my Gameboy under the covers late into the night, torch firmly grasped in my mouth.
This music in unnerving, it’s mischievous and robotic but most importantly, this is music with feeling.
He stops the 4 track. Switches off the TV, the Nintendo. The heat has subsided and the first huff of cool air hits him. Relief. A glint of light on the horizon. The sky a little less dark. It’s 5AM. He sighs deeply and sleep takes him.
Things are a little more hopeful now.