Flagpole Magazine Online
Escape Mechanism by Escape Mechanism
"100 percent recycled culture" these are the ingredients of the mysterious digital gumbo Escape Mechanism, a project along the lines of Negativland that explores the world of unauthorized sampling and pop cultural borrowing in the name of commercial anarchy and artistic freedom. Pillaging everything from The Beatles to The Meters to William S. Burroughs to Bert and Ernie, Escape Mechanism makes for a very bizarre album.
Piecing together a plethora of obviously unauthorized samples, Escape Mechanism re-contextualizes snippets of sound by placing hip-hop beats and weird ambient soundscapes on top of various sound bites. The result is at once intriguing, creepy, and hilarious. Never has Mister Rogers sounded so ominous, stating that "children are lively enough and small enough to go down a bathroom drain. It's funny to think about it, but it's true." The strangeness is only amplified by a sample of a fire-and-brimstone preacher screaming about the heathen's outlook on modern existence over the funky groove of The Meter's "Cissy Strut."
While there's not much in the way of "music" here, Escape Mechanism is worth a listen as an artistic statement that redefines mundane elements of information that we experience and process daily. (3010 Hennepin Ave. South, No. 145, Minneapolis, MN 55408)
- Chris Morris