Derek Gedalecia’s Headboggle project always pushes ideas and boundaries well beyond any reasonable zone, yet his work is always infinitely listenable. Digital Digital Analog is the most fleshed-out execution of the Headboggle vision to date. Over 24 tracks, Gedalecia skips across space and time, leavening his squelched electronics into a dizzying maze of sonic treats. Each vignette is another opportunity for him to slather up another idea and twist whatever genre is in the crosshairs into something neon and alien.
Digital Digital Analog is an album of stitched together moments that create a detailed, engaging narrative. Headboggle has always thrived within condensed contexts, often composing pieces that are two minutes or shorter and that is mostly the case on Digital Digital Analog. The impact of those bits, though, is massive. Take the whimsical ballet of “Do You Like Mush?” Woozy leads dance in languid patterns, stuck in a dream of tropical escape. In 54 seconds, dangerously catchy melodies infuse themselves and carry that playfulness forward, popping again on pieces like “Interlude,” “Rhythm Piano,” and “Skywriter.”
Headboggle brings such joy to his music even when it gets down in the grime and outstares the void. “Thud Club” is all bass all the time, spastic high pitch splotch acting as points of light, attempts to distract from the cold bops. “Gutter Boys” is defiant, guitars alternating between synaptic wails and rustbucket growls over a crunchy beat. Gedalecia can do it all.
In the most grandiose passages, like the ebullient luxury of “Ballroom Psych” or the cinematic glimmer of “Epic Soundtracks,” Headboggle is in rare air. His music is a carnival ride of oddities that sound like every idea imaginable crammed together and synthesized through a psychedelic crystal. Digital Digital Analog is unfathomable in its scope and narrative cohesion, but it works on every level. Heightened visually by Tiny Little Hammers’ incredible artwork, this is Headboggle’s universe and we’re lucky to be consumed by it. Derek Gedalecia is a joyous, shapeshifting force. Everyone gets Boggle’d.
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