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Pocka Odds’n’Ends MP3 Album

The Kikapu netlabel’s 75th release comes from its founder, Brad Mitchell, who records under the name Pocka. Titled Devoured by a Shark, it collects what he describes as “random” tracks that have been on his “hard drive for the better part of a year or more.” The set opens wisely, with one of its strongest pieces, “Metahmafasis,” which floats a brief piano figure over the sort of microsonic whirring we’ve come to expect from Pocka. That foreground melody doesn’t evolve much, though he does eventually embrace some thick chords. It’s actually the background that changes the most, from light buzzes to scrappy rhythms, and there’s a lesson in there: throughout this album it’s worth paying attention to the background; even if it initially seems like ambient inaction, that’s often where the action is. This is especially the case on tracks that are nothing but background, like the haunting “Gwely Mernans (Remix)” and the arid “Ratsagain (Extended),” both rich swaths of sound. A drum’n’bass/dancehall montage (“Cutty Ranks Mashup”) doesn’t offer much that’s new, except to longtime Pocka followers, who might be surprised that someone who has produced a substantial amount of enticingly vaporous sounds has interest in these by-the-books rhythms. The same could be said of “Ziggomatic 17 (Remix),” but at least it does inject some brisk chaos. Those are all just a few of the album’s 14 tracks. One major highlight is “Cherublossom,” which plunks electric piano for funky little riffs, and then sets ’em against an equally tasty drum beat. Download the full batch at kikapu.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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