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Album Review

In kicking off the new millennium, Matt Mahaffey and Self decided to try a novel (some might say novelty) approach, recording the entirety of Gizmodgery on toy instruments. Most of them are electronic: toy guitars, keyboards, and drums, plus various talking and beeping items like animals, robots, phones, and the like. Knowing how the music was created definitely adds to the enjoyment, but even if you didn't know what the gimmick was, you'd still hear a record full of charmingly low-budget electronics and surprisingly detailed production. It's still the sort of bright, sunny indie pop that constitutes Self's stock-in-trade, spiked with white-boy funk à la Beck. Mahaffey's playful, often kitschy sense of humor fits the tone of the whole project very well, and since the music has more than just novelty value, it's overall a pleasant success.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Self is largely the project of Matt Mahaffey, a Murfreesboro, TN-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who began writing songs at age four and was a professional drummer at 12. During high school and college he became proficient at home recording, setting up a studio in his basement and recording demos, some of which eventually became part of his debut album, 1995's Subliminal Plastic Motives. The album, an eclectic blend of power pop, hip-hop, and samples, earned Self a devoted following...
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Gizmodgery, sElf
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