Charlie Deets – The Lost Larrikin Long Play

Charlie Deets
The Lost Larrikin Long Play

So apparently, I’ve got quite a thing for white guys who play guitars but then decide to fiddle with knobs and make some electronic music on the side. It all started when I got wind of some ‘dub/electro’ demos put together by LandSpeedRecord’s Charley Jamison a few years ago. Like a lot of other suckers, I’ve also found myself somehow ensnared in the musical web of Thom Yorke over the past few years. Unfortunately, it somehow took me until early 2007 to unconsciously trip over the solo genius of Charlie Deets (axe-slinger for noise-poppers Sally).

The Lost Larrikin Long Play is, in all honesty, a great house party contained within a CD. The first three minutes of the disc belong to the ridiculously filthy deep-bass throb of “Adults Pretend to Be Doing Stuff,” transitioning nicely into light keyboard flourishes and more danceable fare with “Okidata The Party Started.” “A Bit of Bitrex” is a marvelous bit of head-bobbing synth-pop that swings a full 180 from the previous track.

By this point, it’s obvious that this record is a jigsaw puzzle of danceable electronic goodness. A crazy breakbeat instrumental like “Xtina Powers Would Like to Sleep With You” somehow neatly flows into the deep, deliberate groove of “Necrotising Archnidism” like warm butter spreads smoothly over bread. “Broken Clavicle” rotates on a few swirling keyboard notes and a staggering, grainy synth roll; the effect goes beyond ambient when an understated chorus swells through and gives the track a bit of lazy thump.

Some tracks are made stronger by the environment around them. After a few songs of slightly more standard material, the simple rhythm and stark synths on “Yes, I Built It” make it sound like the greatest dance anthem not yet released on darkened basement clubs. When Deets’ echoing voice calls out, “I know what I want / But I don’t know why,” I shudder thinking about how huge this stuff should be amongst today’s musically misguided, angst-filled youth. Oh yeah, just a note: “Megalomania and Burnt Soy Milk” really should go down as one of the greatest song titles ever. The album closes with a dirty two-minute electro-punk rage in “Disgusting Savage (Theme From The Lost Larrikin Long Play)” that somehow works in the context of putting the disc on repeat and flowing back to the bass sounds opening the album.

This record goes down as my most unappreciated release of 2006. Had I been aware of its existence in time, The Lost Larrikin Long Play would’ve easily made my Top Ten list for the year without a second thought. “Adults Pretend to Be Doing Stuff” is the ultimate mixtape fodder, and the rest of the album follows suit tremendously. The best part? Later on in 2006, Deets dropped a similarly good remix album, To Orchestrate a Murder, that adds some grit and fuzz to the proceedings to good effect. ‘Solo projects’ rarely get better than this, indeed.