Mankind’s Abstract Testicles

Bart Plantenga, wReck thiS MeSS, no 1067, 31 août 2009

The Canadian duo known as Mankind [Alexis O’Hara and D Kimm] has produced my favorite CD of 2009. They combine a teen punk insouciance with an electronic sophistication presented in a raw lo-fi fashion that breathes new life into a corpse choked off all signs of life by the introduction of easy tools and electronic editing that has sucked all humanity and error from its soundscape. Trash poetry, scatology, cut-up techniques, Dada, punk noise aesthetics, voice transformation, literary and audio allusions, produce a work on the level of DJ Shadow, which means using a wide variety of techniques and resources readily available but perhaps neglected to create an aural manifesto that gives them their vitality. Its true dynamics comes from an ability to produce hi-fi using lo-fi aesthetics, to create an elegance out of a tapestry of audio detritus and communication strategies that are post-internationalist — they traverse numerous genres, tactics, languages and eras, which all evokes a Burroughsian dystopia that is not wholly without it compensations and rewards because paranoia and vision imply knowing the patterns and hypocrisies behind information and facing all of this head-on with their psych-sexual analyses of power and its media adjuncts. Live they present an evolving ad hoc multimedia performance using backdrops, video, costumes and this cut-up feel bleeds through on their CD.

The Canadian duo known as Mankind has produced my favorite CD of 2009.