By Elizabeth Walker | May 30th, 2011
Enter Scot Porter, aka Voicechanger, aka Vox Mod. This is a man with three names, rising from the harrowing depths of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, who has bequeathed some seriously fat beats. Last month marked the release of his first album under the name Vox Mod, titled HAZMAT.
Upon first listen I was pretty much blown away. The past few weeks my puny human brain has been muddling around as to how to put HAZMAT into words, and to be honest, it’s damn hard. How does one depict the immensity of Mt. Rainer or Macchu Pichu? The answer is that you simply can’t; experience alone enables one to transcend from researcher to participant.
HAZMAT may not be a physical mountain, but the shear enormity of noise, layers, ingenuity and complexity Vox Mod reaches on each track is astounding. To compare Vox Mod’s style, the only analysis coming to mind is this: Boy 8-Bit meets Gold Panda in a blender with a bottle of Jameson, and the musical party of HAZMAT begins.
Pulsating, space-age tracks are the obvious theme of this release (this could seem apparent to me because I’m on a Battlestar Galactica kick again, but it just feels right, people). “La Fractillina” is a dark, vociferous track, a pounding xylophone-esque melody leading chaotically organized white noise. “The Moebius” — my personal favorite — kicks off with some lightly moaning vocals zestfully layered over a stratified melody, reminiscent of a the feelings of autonomy and invincibility on the first day of summer; it is light hearted yet strong with short, masterful build ups guiding the way through the track. The final track, “An Awakening,” snaps back to reality with a screeching noise met by deep baritone notes eventually melting away to an uplifting finale.
Each track on HAZMAT has a different flavor, but one thing in common: some awesomely compelling big, fat noise. It’s almost as if everything Vox Mod put together was by a strange cosmic accident, but somehow ends up perfectly balanced.
Can’t get enough Vox Mod? Well, it’s your lucky day. Scot Porter is also a part of Wild Orchid Children and Lazer Kitty, amongst others. Also, he has some prior releases under his other alias Voicechanger. Oh, and lest I forget, you can download the album in it’s entirety on Vox Mod’s bandcamp site.