Foxdye is Portland resident Amina Kirby. Her music is a fractured, almost impossibly giddy style of meta-breakcore heavily influenced by internet memes, happy hardcore, cartoons, and lots and lots of sugar. I saw her play a show at my friend's house once and within the first few minutes she sampled Dune. No, not the sci-fi movie, but the German happy hardcore group from the mid-'90s. Guess who my instantly became my new favorite artist?
So after a few CDRs and a track on a 12" that included tracks by Mochipet, BLAERG, Shitmat and others, here's a full-length Foxdye album. The smashed cupcake on the inside booklet and back cover sums this up better than any words could. After a few short ambient/glitch tracks, the album jolts into sugar-high gear with beats that are every bit as overjoyed as they are mangled and sliced up. A lot of breakcore has had this sort of meta sense of humor (particularly artists like Toecutter, Cardopusher before he went dubstep, the entire Wrong Music roster, etc.) but not quite to the point of random samples of computer voices going "LOL", some guy saying "Nachos!", tooting horns, more barnyard animal sounds than any album since The KLF's "Chill Out"... oh yeah, and fart sounds. Lots and lots and lots of fart sounds.
Pretty much any Youtube sensation or pop song (or genre) is up for grabs here. As well as plenty of already overused samples. Sure you've probably heard Chuck D saying "Bass!" sampled thousands of times before. Maybe you've heard Cutty Ranks' "Limb By Limb" a cappella a few dozen times as well. It appears no less than three times here. There's a reason he stopped releasing a cappellas of his tracks. A few tracks poke fun at the seriousness (and almost total lack of meta-humor) of dubstep, blending seasick wobbly basslines and ragga samples with the type of fractured breaks and silly samples heard elsewhere on the album. "Brown Assid" mixes psy-trance with some UFO conspiracy talk; right before the breaks drop is a sample of a guy talking about aliens with light pulsating through their arteries. Fellow sanity-masher Rokhausen contributes a polkafied remix of the track on the album that samples the Vengaboys. The entire last minute and a half of the track is the sound of a toilet flushing.
After all this insanity, Foxdye reverts back to the ambient/glitch style of the first two tracks, but this time drawing the tracks out more, letting them drone and develop. "Beneath Machine And Flesh" still has rapid micro-glitch beats, maybe akin to a more caffeinated version of something Raster-Noton would release, and some subtle, slightly wobbly bass, plus some really pretty melodies. "Learning And Leaving" dispenses with beats entirely, consisting of chime sounds and some minimal bass and synth tones. It's an oddly poignant ending to an album that seems to revel in the silliest of pleasures, as well as celebrate the absurdity of modern pop and underground culture. 8/10 -- Paul Simpson (20 January, 2010)