(Best New Music) RECENT PICK-UPS: Max Graef & Glenn Astro – The Yard Work Simulator


From my collection

Max Graef & Glenn Astro really went all out crazy on this one! (audio)


When you title your album The Yard Work Simulator, and the first real track out the gate is called “Where The Fuck Are My Hard Boiled Eggs?”, you know you’re headed into uneasy listening territory. Luckily, this kind of shit is right up my alley. The kind of shit that feels like ideas are being thrown up against wall like paint with wild abandon and it just so happens to become a masterpiece in the process. A great example of this early on is the album’s title track; a song where you’re quickly slapped across the face with some of warbliest synths you’ve heard, followed by a funky jazz, clattering drum break before diving into ambient IDM territory halfway through before the drum break closes out the album.

This is probably one of the more straightforward songs on the album.

This kitchen sink approach is pretty much the consistent theme across album that could easily be described as house music for schizophrenics. Aesthetically, the first thing that sprang to mind when I heard this album was Squarepusher’s Hard Normal Daddy; an album that felt equal parts live and organic as well as very electronic, as well as being all over the place. But where as the album as focused on being a “drill n’ bass” record, this album definitely feels pretty grounded as a house album, as viewed through an IDM lens. It’s a twitchy, unpredictable album that has no problems with completely abandoning a song’s sound mid way through a track for another idea and it’s one of the things that’s made it one of my favorite albums in a while.

The album isn’t an all out assault on the senses like I’m making out to be though; there are calmer, more restrained, more conservative moments on the record.  The middle two tracks, “China Nr. 4” and “W313D” show that duo are capable of controlling themselves. But really, the album is at it’s best when it’s allowed to go into all out freakout mode. “Where The Fuck Are My Hard Boiled Eggs”, “The Yard Work Simulator”, “Flat Peter”, “Magic Johnson”, and “Jumbo Frøsnapper” are bursting at the seems with fun and ideas in an era where everything feels so stiff, dower, and retrospective that it just can’t help but feel refreshing. It’s just a weird, fantastic ride that’s had listening to it over and over again.

But I also understand this kind of “music” isn’t for everyone. What I’d recommend is starting with Max Graef’s universally revered Rivers of the Red Planet first and then trying this, since this album feels like a demented evolution of that album. So while I can’t recommend this to everyone, fans who like their music to be little “off”, I seriously can’t recommend this album enough.


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