MIDI Janitor: Bulk Order CS

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Using a MIDI controller he found in an East Van dumpster, Vancouverite Jonathan Orr makes luminous lo-fi jams reminiscent of early Tobacco and Boards of Canada; every track a smeared mash-up of detuned synth samples and recycled beats from the cheesiest of 90s sample packs. Taking his theoretical cues from early 80s industrial cassette culture (the primitive missives of Zoviet France and Nocturnal Emissions) and his practical inspiration from more recent Dungeon Synth projects like Silent Cabin and Fogweaver (where unadorned Casios and one-fingered melodies rule) Orr has crafted a deeply infectious album of ambient electro music using nothing but scavenged gear. The Hex Sun vibe of 'Do you Not Wish' kicks things off in proper woozy fashion, before giving way to the rubbery bounce of 'Gospel Dynamics' and the pummeling drive of 'Rudy Finds the Prism'. Side Two’s 'Vapor King' and 'Amazing Vocals On Earth' sound like lost outtakes from 'A Few Old Tunes Vol 1' - all overdriven drums and interlocking synth loops - while album closer 'One World Or None' gently returns listeners to the hazy rural dusk of the album’s opening. Behind the tongue-in-cheek nature of Orr’s project name (the artist originally imagined the MIDI Janitor as an aging maintenance man creating beats in the privacy of his supply closet) lies a sophisticated musical palette and a refreshing inclusivity of spirit. If the MIDI Janitor can do it, the album seems to ask, why can’t you? The means of digital music production are all around us; free for the taking. Why spend your time collecting thousands of dollars worth of vintage synths when you could be making meaning with the tools you have?

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