WIT IS SOMETHING that we associate primarily with words, but music can, in and of itself, be a capsule of wit, and Mr Hayday is a great example.
The Auckland-based electronic musician/producer’s music is brimming with smart remarks, but they’re musical, rather than verbal. He makes smart music, but not so smart that it misses the watermark. It’s neither dry, nor smarmy, but full of fun, and as funky as a frozen banana.
Miscellaneous Expenses comes in the form of a 7-inch single with a code to download the full 7-track EP, a novel approach to current format dilemmas.
It’s fabulous. I don’t know what instrumentation Mr Hayday uses, but it sounds like the majority of melodies are performed by a synth-guitar, or perhaps its virtual counterpart. Either way, it gives the project a hint of both nostalgia and humanity that it otherwise may have lacked, because the beats are other colourings are super-processed and packed with detail.
Comparisons with Mr Oizo are inevitable, as Mr Hayday has a similar penchant for crunchy, edible textures and beats and the same obvious desire to make his music both listenable in the home environment, and danceable out there at the local bottom-wiggling contest.
Oddly, the title track sounds rather like a mid-‘90s Bill Laswell production, complete with Bernie Worrell-like key parts. ‘Beyond 2000’ perfectly captures the retro synth feel you’d expect from a track that references a time-trapped technology TV show, and ‘The Matakana Research Institute’ comes replete with a vigorous sequence of note clusters and somehow manages to sound like a brain-damaged Jarre.
What I love about these tracks is the aesthetic: Mr Hayday loves dirty-sounding textures, but all these textual blemishes are recorded in supersonic hi-fi clarity. Yessiree, he’s done a splendiferous job on the sound of Miscellaneous Expenses, one of the best things I’ve heard thus far in 2011. GARY STEEL
Music = 4/5
Sound = 4/5
NOTE: The video below is from 2009, so not entirely representative of the current sounds of Mr Hayday. It’s still way cool, though.