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Anna Azizzy - "mismatched collection" album review

As I was researching for my Artist Special article on Anna Azizzy that goes up this weekend, I discovered (rediscovered?) an album that they did last year. This album is mismatched collection, a set of songs from 2014, 2015, and 2016. I've definitely heard some of these live, but I don't think I have ever listened to this album.

The album cover of mismatched collection is a particularly strange image of perhaps someone dancing alone under a mirror ball. Perhaps they are dreaming, hence the bed? The ball and reflections remind me of pepperoni or some kind of sausage, which is pretty unpleasant to me. It does shimmer if looked at closer, which gives me a bit of hope that it isn't a meat product. The little person is cool but weird - a weird little fish kid.

"spackle your backhand" is the first track on mismatched collection. It's a solo vocal and bass(?) song, with delay on the vocals or doubletracking. The bass is really downtuned and might not be a bass at all. It's like a little corporate jingle of mental catechisms, minimalist and somewhat frightening. The second track is "brainbrainbrainbrain" about taking yr brain for a walk. This song is mostly percussion, cymbals or bells or cans, with accompaniment of balloons or whistles and some singing. It's really cute and weird, and it reminds me of the Pink Floyd song "Corporal Clegg" from A Saucerful of Secrets with its kazoo solo. The third track is "my songie (a song by my little brother)". This song is like a march that goes into an a capella sequence before ending. It's really fun and makes me want to listen to it again to catch all of the little things going on. "what's dog" sounds like a They Might Be Giants song and recalls Plato's Allegory of the Cave asking, essentially, "what really makes a dog?". There is a secondary vocal, quieter in the back, that gives the song a sense of doubt, which heightens the theme. "hum far" is the penultimate track, all rubbery in instrumentation and all ghosty echoes in vocals. It's kind of creepy. I really like the weird rubber sounds in the beginning. The last track is "cuke love", a beautiful track about love or a lack of it. "And I'm too hip to let you fall in love with me." That sounds like some 2009 indie nonsense, but it plays out in a sad way, a failure perhaps? A presentation that hides something else maybe? It's good.

I really enjoyed listening to mismatched collection. The album presents all manner of strangeness, but it never gets loud or harsh. It's more Young Marble Giants than Merzbow, but all the instruments sound extremely strange and unprofressional. It works with the lo-fi production and childlike song structures, though the themes of the songs extend beyond somewhere. mismatched collection receives a Good.

Remember to come back on Sunday for this month's Artist Special with Anna Azizzy. You can read the previous articles with Mick Malone and Brian DiSanto too.