Chango Feo - Alaska
I'm not really sure how to classify Chango Feo's Alaska, a limited edition (100 copies) debut release on Hive Records. One could almost see it as a twisted alien journey of experimental sounds, robotic voices and mechanical beats, industrial and yet not confined to such classifications.
Hive Records continues to impress me with their approach to music, setting out not to pigeon hole themselves in what could have become labelled the "hive records sound". Instead, each release can hold its own, while being held together only by the excellence of the quality and originality.
Sliding back and forth, the sounds of Alaska experiment with beats and with ambient soundscapes, sometimes merging the two, expanding on what we expect by the addition of digitalized vocals. The dark, perhaps unsettling humour of the track "color sequence" (track 5) incorporates text from what I believe is a commercial for an early digital hand held game named Chango Feo. I seem to recall this from my childhood, but my childhood is a bit of a blur, to be honest.
Simply put, Chango Feo have created a unique masterpiece.
Alaska comes in a brushed steel round CD case. And although I'm generally not a big fan of unique packaging, for although creative, they usually don't conform to storage systems. That I have accepted Alaska's honest wish not to conform allows me to overlook this problem, which in fact, is not really a problem after all, but a bonus.
If this all wasn't enough, as a extra treat, it is an enhanced CD with included video, which is extremely well done. I sort of feel that all the work they put into the video is somewhat wasted (at least on me), for as good as it is, I watched it twice, and will probably never watch it again, since I am not in the mindset of watching videos, or listening to music from my computer. But as this should be considered an extra, I'm not complaining, and those who like videos will love it..
Squid Dec 2003