Review: Giant Claw - Haunted Planet (Wool Recordings, 2012)
Keith Rankin’s newest slab on vinyl, released by French forefront label Wool Recordings, contains some of the most ecstatic, glowing and playful “vintage” music to be released this year. Rankin contains a talent that many in this scene lack: the sense of humor and a knack for catchy, rolling, hypnotizing melodies. He adorns them with rising and falling arpeggios to a near-techno beat pulsing in the background. Hell, compared to the slow-paced malaise of the rest of the “scene” Rankin is an amphetamine beast, storming forward and obliterating everything in its way while showing the synth kids their place. Giant Claw’s music is a voice of protest: against boredom, agaist malaise, against mediocrity.
Those already familiar with Rankin’s line of work will know what to except: tongue-in-cheek, multi-layered prog electronics that scream “oldschool video game music” from a mile away. Don’t expect geeky, annoying chiptune, however. Haunted Planet might be listened as a tribute to both old electronic masters as well as old computer games in general, but the music isn’t locked in a state of permanent, unhealthy nostalgia - rather, it uses those skeletal, simple melodies as a basis for a warmer, more psychedelic sound showering you, the listener, with a cascade of bleeps and bloops, as if facilitating the process of achieving a sonic nirvana.