Lost Penguin - Mr Whippy/Disco Dazzler

Tim Miller 24/07/2006

Rating: 0/5

Lost Penguin can count themselves fairly unlucky that I have no time for crap, tuneless drum 'n bass with lazy vocals and no atmosphere, as this is just about the worst thing I've ever had to sit through, listen to more than once and then find the will to write about it.

According to their press, Lost Penguin feature a “4 keyboard, a battered bass guitar and a drum machine”. It certainly sounds like it, only in the hands of some pre-teens. This double A-side single, expanded with a remix of Mr Whippy by Matthew !WOWOW!, is a case of trying to decide between the lesser of two evils. Mr Whippy, at least incredibly short, sees hectic beats, a dull, grumbling bass line, and crap, shouted lyrics - “My Dad was an ice cream man he works everyday except for Tuesday/My Dad was an ice cream man he makes me strawberry sundaes!” - padding out just one minute and 40 seconds. Even that includes a 15 second outro, of a seaside resort carousel/ice cream waltz tune, which is by far the best bit of the song after that atonal racket has finished. Disco Dazzler, meanwhile, features more vocals dispatched without any apparent talent, “turn the volume up!” they shout: I'd rather do anything but. A squelchy, toneless bass drones on throughout again, a dull beacon in a lifeless soundscape.

The remix of Mr Whippy doesn't do it any favours, as the bass is gone and instead we have to hear the vocals over and over again, far more clearly than before, replaced by yet more musical ineptness: some high pitched electronic squeaks. Matthew !WOWWOW! is, allegedly, becoming a top London remixer. The 'top' way he closes this record is by scratching “Ice cream man! Ice cream man! Ice cream man! Iceiceice Ice cream man! Ice cream man! Iceiceiceiceiceiceiceice ice cream man! My birthday! , with what sounds like little to no awareness of what the hell he's doing.

What depresses me most about this single is that it is typical, I assume, of a whole culture of clubs, nightlife, and people who genuinely listen to this sort of thing. Hearing this double A-side on my bedroom CD player with no ecstasy, no heroin, no adrenalin rushing through me, actually hearing this music for what it is gives a worrying indication of just how far off your face you need to be to find this sort of drivel at all bearable. The musical equivalent of the day after the night before: waking up with a 45 year old you'd pulled on your 18th birthday and realising how awful things actually are.

Released 'mid-august'.