[sic] Magazine

31Ø8 – 31Ø8

In [sic]’s recent review for the wonderful Nikki Nack by colouful pop weirdo tUnE-yArDs the point that, artistically speaking, it’s worse to invite indifference above hatred was reiterated. That message still doesn’t seem to have reached Tyler Zypreska however. The London-based bedroom-producer works alone under the cypher 31Ø8 and it affords him a degree of mystery that, sadly, his rather one-dimensional pop does not. Sure, some of his ragged debut LP is quite fun – tracks like “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” delivering swampy hooks on the same scale as someone like Dead Gaze – but the whole thing lacks depth nevertheless.

Zypreska is, to his credit, much more effective when he slows down his synths, album highlight “The Hunger” allowing an early 90s vibe to rub shoulders with a battered post-punk bassline, the mix, in this case, then given a cheap Casio and drum machine sheen. The sugar-rush whimsy of “Neon Crush” and “Go To Hell”, for example, (easily the poppiest cuts from the entire Trouble In Mind roster to date) are just too much to stomach though.

Blame it all on today’s ready access to the likes of doom techno and power drone if you will, but throwaway fuzz-pop of this type can all-too-easily seem lightweight. Similarly styled to 31Ø8, Keel Her tempered her recent, self-titled debut with a punkish sneer, its lo-fi veneer seemingly borne both out of necessity and aesthetic choice. Zypreska’s fuzz filter however is used as might anyone upon receipt of their first effects pedal. The result of which is little more than an all-encompassing apology for fledgling songcraft, and one not nearly strong enough to paper over some of his more serious cracks.

Best track: “The Hunger”

~31Ø8 is released April 28th 2014 on Trouble In Mind.~