By Chris DeMento
I don’t like techno. And by calling it techno, of course I mean to deride electronic music, perhaps only for effect, or maybe because I have all these negative electro-associations: the movie Swordfish, for example. There’s one. Falling asleep behind the wheel somewhere along I-90 and waking up to the white-hot snap of a lightning bolt, my buddy’s nightmarish screaming, and the Virgin Suicides score blaring an almost-swansong over factory-installed speakers – there’s another.
So when I swerved into Amnesia the other night, it was not without some degree of reluctance that I paid a $3 cover to hear Moped, a two-man electronic outfit from around the way. A couple-three soju and sodas eased me, however, into the acknowledgment of memory files long since repudiated, zipped-up, stored in the recesses of my Neuronet Processor next to my DJ Shadow penchant and those digitally manipulated nudes of Monica Seles on Blossom Russo.
All playful digs aside, I really enjoyed Moped’s stuff. They had old TV episodes of Batman playing in slow-mo on the projection screen behind them. I think I actually stooped to the cliché “I wish I were on acid right now,” such was the nature of my relish, my drunk. Peter Gavin is not so much a frontman as he is an arbiter, sequencing his live bass, sax, and synth tracks atop the viciously groovy drumming of Scott Eberhardt. Their cover of Salt and Pepa’s “Push It” was nothing short of an achievement.
Some call this stuff electro jazz. Sounds like live house to me. Whatever it is, it stoned me to beat the band. I kept hoping Gavin would pull out some nunchucks, capable multitasker that he is. What this reigning Moped boy lacks in gutter-funk, he recoups in class and taste. And the tireless Eberhardt plays with astounding feel considering all the thumping and bumping the music needs from him. OK, so maybe I’m straddling them a bit too eagerly, but it sounded tight, was expertly conceived, and is a lot less dangerous to take for a spin than the Real McCoy. Remember them? Damn that German Eurodance crap. Damn it to hell.