Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles

by: Steve Aoki

Hipster DJ-to-the-celebutantes Steve Aoki loves to flaunt all his celebrity friends (i.e. Lindsay Lohan and company) and quasi-celebrity "cool bands" he's down with (Klaxons, Justice). On his first mix album, oddly credited to him as if an artist album, Aoki gets to pull out all the "cool band" stops in his arsenal, both in the mix selections and in the friends he recruits to deliver guest raps atop the music. Lohan's absent, but the likes of Har Mar Superstar, Spank Rock, Amanda Blank, and Hot Hot Heat's Steve Bays show up to drop verbal -- well, something, though it's certainly not science. It appears that the only instruction Aoki gave his pals was to talk dirty. A lot. Using as many expletives as possible. Especially if female. Perhaps that's a smokescreen so that listeners won't notice how mediocre Aoki's mixing skills are -- though one could assume that if you're in Aoki's target demographic, his (lack of) mixing skills won't exactly keep you up at night. If you could get rid of all the "guest drops" here, you'd be left with a half-decent mix disc, albeit a fairly hipster-ly predictable one: not just remixes of Klaxons and Justice (twice), but Bloc Party and Peaches (both co-remixed by Aoki himself under the Weird Science moniker) as well as hot new things such as Does It Offend You, Yeah? and Yelle. The tracks range from pretty damned good (the Soulwax remix of Klaxons' "Gravity's Rainbow") to utter nothingness (Green Velvet's "Shake and Pop" -- remember when he used to make good-to-great house records?), most sadly occupying a middle ground of mediocrity. To put it another way: if you're so inclined (to care about, say, Erol Alkan's rub of Franz Ferdinand), you likely already own the best of these tracks, without the obnoxious rapping atop them. And if you're so inclined to care about Aoki, you likely already own this. The rest of you needn't bother, nor care. ~ Thomas Inskeep

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