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Album Review

The debut of indie veteran Mark Robinson's new EP series Experimental Music, Taste is precisely that, experimental music. Robinson has attempted to craft his typically quirky pop with just the use of sine tones and his voice. "Why Hello, Dali!," the opening track, assaults the listener with high-pitched tones and clicks. Unfortunately the song is not catchy enough to gain the listener's attention and can actually be irritating with its high tones; however, this may very well be musical prankster Robinson's goal. "Ruggles Muggles Toodle-Loo" is a much more interesting track, with rising, sweeping tones layered on top of a low-pitched pulse. What saves this EP from merely being an interesting experiment are the remaining two tracks. On "Rindge & Latin Scuffle" Robinson employs a Reich-like phasing technique on his vocals which is contrasted by a steady beeping tone. The final track, "The Dorothy 'Dottie' Doyle Shortcut" — the true gem of the EP — is a well-crafted sine wave pop song. Robinson is able to make you tap your foot and hum along to merely a beeping tone and the clicking on and off of sine waves. Between each track Robinson has inserted a full minute of silence. In the past (on the LP a-OK of Robinson's band Flin Flon) he has stated that this produces a more focused listen, and provides the separation necessary to demonstrate that each track is an entity unto itself. Regardless of the silliness of this, or whether Robinson really takes it that seriously, it is effective. The design of the CD itself is of important note, too. Mark Robinson, a.k.a. Teenbeat Graphic, has put together a well-designed record both sonically and visually.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Mark Robinson is best known as the guitarist and vocalist of the beloved indie pop band Unrest, in addition to being the entrepreneur of Teen Beat Records, a label that fired off its first release in 1985. While in high school during the early '80s he formed Unrest with Phil Krauth, which lasted several albums and several singles into the mid-'90s. Shortly after the demise of that band, he formed Air Miami with other Unrest-mate Bridget Cross. Breaking up after an album and EP, Robinson moved on...
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Taste, Mark Robinson
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