Technical Difficulties | Please Stand By | Album Review
Label: Equipment Records
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
For decades, the song writing duo known as Technical Difficulties has crafted delay after delay for every artist on the spectrum, including big names such as Katy Perry and John Denver and smaller, underground groups most readers have probably never heard of. Now the musical interruption steps into the spotlight with their debut album, Please Stand By. Inspired by the work that goes on behind the scenes, this album is a masterpiece of production and mixing.
The opening track, “Sorry For The Interruption,” begins as a slowly building instrumental piece, carried by a steady rhythm courtesy of a bass drum. Right as the crescendo is reached, the drums are going full speed, and as a breath is taken into the microphone, everything stops and a piercing screech fills the track, drowning out every other instrument. Thirty seconds later, an uncredited voice appears and begins to apologize for the delay in the song, which of course, the listener never gets to hear.
The highlight of the entire album, however, is “Reverb,” featuring Rihanna. The song is performed as an acappella and consists of hit singer Rihanna speaking different lines into a microphone that echoes her voice around an apparently large and empty stadium. The lyrics include such phrases as “I can’t hear anything / turn up the volume” and “what’s that noise / where is it coming from.” The lack of instrumentation gives the entire track a raw quality, as if listening to the singer’s private thoughts that shouldn’t be broadcasted.
Other tracks such as “It’s Happening Again,” “Turn The Stereo Off,” and “Earpiece Failure,” highlights the duo’s incredible knack for creating disturbing and displeasing ambiance from the most mysterious of sound choices.