johnny_ripper
Still Images & Other Dreams


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ty USER (11 Reviews)
May 20th, 2012 | 13 replies | 1,642 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A child and his toys. Only, that child has grown up.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Lo-fi. It often yields phenomenal results, akin to witnessing a live performance in a basement or seeing a street busker in Chicago. A musician in a cramped little bedroom has an intimate strength that a group of individuals in a studio cannot quite grasp. We hear their mistakes. If a beat is off, a lyric slurred slightly too much, or a string missed, it cannot be corrected. It is real, and it is intimate. Johnny_ripper perfects lo-fi. He takes the concepts applied by thousands of college kids with instruments, or older persons with too much time on their hands, and he warps them into an nostalgic, innocent, concise, and solid release.
Being quite fond of electronic integrations and sampling, Johnny_ripper brings forth acoustic instrumentation- including a mandolin- and glues them to pieces of electronic sampling. In 'Something (with Tod Shelton)' a piano hammers out a simple, almost lullaby-esque, harmony while being buried under a slight layer of glitch like noise. A spoken word verse takes the forefront of this track, syncopating nicely with the melody of the underlying piano. Executed perfectly, this track is one of the standouts on Still Images & Other Dreams. Throughout the majority of the album, a slightly unnerving sense of off-kilter annotation and beats can prove to be quite refreshing, oddly enough. In fact, the album opener, 'Four Hands (with RRFFDD)' consists of an almost grating violin complimenting a more solidified and comfortable piano structure. It is almost frustrating, yet it is executed in a slightly playful and uplifting fashion, so it is not too overwhelming and actually adds to the overall character of the track. This type of bizarre instrumentation used on numerous tracks, in congruence with electronic, glitchy, sampling gives Johnny_ripper's latest effort a life of its own. Still Images & Other Dreams could almost be characterized as that weird girl that sat in the back of class every day during freshman year, the one everyone had a sentimental curiosity about, who always looked out the window, was making origami at her desk, or drawing a surreal picture. The album is a lucid dream, a drunk traveling orchestra playing at a circus or a slightly off kilter wedding.
Bringing unique instrumentation to the forefront, drenched in electronic noises and the slightly reclusive ambient section, Johnny_ripper has crafted a lo-fi masterpiece. It is not drenched in the noise and fuzz that is consistently present on low-budget recordings, yet it is not over-produced either. It has enough uniqueness that it retains the human element behind the music. Each song on this album has its own unique character, like dogs at a pet shop. At times, it feels tremendously nostalgic, bringing to light simpler times in the Twenty First Century. Still Images & Other Dreams is lo-fi on a nice summer evening with a smoothie in hand.



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user ratings (1)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
North0House2
May 20th 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think the ampersand screwed up the album art, cuz it's there. Oh well... The paragraphs kinda don't look as separated either, I want to edit it and add an extra space in there, but I'm getting a "fatal error" when I try to edit it. Lol, so bear with the formatting. I don't know what's going on.

Anyway, seriously, check this out, it's a beautiful little listen; so refreshing (and free, too.):
http://johnnyripper.bandcamp.com/


Digging: Horseback - Piedmont Apocrypha

North0House2
May 20th 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeaaah, I don't know what's going on. I just checked the page for him, and all of a sudden there's a duplicate entry for this album...

North0House2
May 20th 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, I think the staff might have to resolve this. I tried going in and editing the album info so that the duplicate entry could be deleted, then I could just switch this text to the other album... But I'm just getting fatal errors right and left, so I'm gonna leave it alone for now.

North0House2
May 20th 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you, staff.

sifFlammable
May 20th 2012



2741 Comments


sweet north, i'll listen to this since a) you rec'd this to me and other bands which im grateful of and b) this isn't on rym

btw do you live in chicago? what do you find phenomenal about the street buskers there?

North0House2
May 20th 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome man. I find it to be pretty excellent. One of my favorite releases of the year. I wanted to give it a 4.5, but it's also right up my alley, so I didn't want to be too hyperbolic. Hopefully you'll like it.

Ah nah, I've just visited before (a long time ago.) I don't know, there just seemed to be a lot of buskers there, more so than in Denver (where I live.), or the parts of Denver I've been to.

sifFlammable
May 20th 2012



2741 Comments


thats fine i guess. from what iv seen during my time in uni here theres nothing phenomenal about them, cept maybe that they're much nicer than the buskers im used to seeing in new zealand. its not that surprising either, chicago is a pretty unequal city in terms of wealth.

North0House2
May 20th 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've never been to NZ. Are the buskers there rabid? The ones here in Colorado are kinda cool sometimes, but a lot are just kind of teen bums that can only play a few chords... At least they're slightly more unique in Chicago, at least when I visited about 5 years ago. It is, certainly.

sifFlammable
May 20th 2012



2741 Comments


well NZ as a whole is generally a much less accepting/tolerant society than america, so we as a whole do behave a little more 'hostile' than america (and especially the midwest) i mean when i first came here - studying at northwestern uni atm - from nz i was really surprised at how 'nice' the people here were

it's probably because im at an upper class midwestern school but it does say sth about the general country too



sifFlammable
May 20th 2012



2741 Comments


im assuming your talking about the select few who can play jazz but the rest of them are just poor buggers

North0House2
May 20th 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I suppose I have heard that from an Australian chick that I know who has visited before. So you guys kind of just exist in your own NZ society and aren't exactly welcoming to non-locals huh? At least they're nice.

Yeah, definitely. The jazz buskers, man, I wish I could pay them every penny. But yeah, most of them are just kind of bums who can't do anything.

sifFlammable
May 20th 2012



2741 Comments


yeah we come up with many reasons to hate on everyone cept us, like the oz the americans the brits and needless to say the asians. i mean it is quite harsh seeing the pacific islanders abuse the asians in the city sometimes

but at the same time no one respects the islanders either, and in all honesty the racism is mostly in good humour, but since immigrants usually cant take such abrasive humour nicely...




North0House2
May 21st 2012



5615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah... That kinda sounds like it's a little saddening, especially since I consider moving to NZ at times (along with Iceland or Alaska.). But, at the same time, it's probably kind of nice to have what sounds like a tight-knit group of locals.

Yeah, everyone's so easily offended, especially here in America lately. So, I know how that goes.



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