Flex TMG Whisper Swish 12″
Debut vinyl release from this Oakland duo made up of Hannah D’Amato (FAKE FRUIT) and Rob I. Miller (BLUES LAWYER). FLEX TMG pairs the hectic, dubbed-out avant disco of Y Records or the dancier side of the New York no wave scene with vocal melodies more reminiscent of the dance-pop of that same era. Each of the six tracks on the 12” are supported by an ESG-like groove assembled from lo-fi drum machines, various hand percussion, and rubbery, ass-rattling bass lines. Depending on the track, guitar gets layered in as meandering ambience, chicken scratch funk, or even acid jazz psychedelia. But it’s Hannah’s vocal performance here that sells this for me. On the opening track “Burn This Town,” you’re getting a half MAXIMUM JOY post-punk yelp, half an almost CRYSTAL WATERS hypnotic, sing-songy rap—it just sounds effortless and cool but approachable at the same time. Then other tracks find her doing more of an airy “Heart of Glass” thing…less approachable, but still very cool! It’s borderline magical, though, when she organically blends those three styles, as she does on the song “Ghost.” I’ve listened to this track dozens of times at this point, and it hasn’t lost any of its luster. That little yell that she gives out right after the mini-hook “felt like a ghost in that city” is probably my favorite moment on any record this year. It’s already such an upbeat song, but something about it really makes me feel alive. Just an exceptional track on a great record!