Mr. Mixel Pixel Mappy Land

Mixel Pixel is none other than Rob Corradetti, who creates, as he describes it, "paranoid bedroom pop." Mr. Pixel is treading on some weird ground here, with lo-fi electronic music churned out by vintage keyboards and even a Commodore 64. Much of the musical backdrop of Mappy Land sounds like the themes to '80s video games, which is precisely what Corradetti was shooting for. As weird as it may sound, Mixel Pixel is not alone in this field. Recent records by like-minded artists such as Laptop, Momus, Barcelona and Trevor Holland prove that there's a thirst for bizarre, arty electro-pop, and Mr. Mixel Pixel passes the admission test with flying colours. Like Momus, he weaves sarcastic, flippant lyrical subject matter into a strange brew of bleeps, pings and, believe it or not, guitar fuzz. The weakness in Mappy Land is that the overall sound isn't as smooth, nor is it witty enough to work on the same level as his contemporaries. Perhaps Mr. Pixel is taking this a little too seriously, or maybe he's just spent far too much time in Radio Shack and computer thrift stores to come up with the right mix. That said, tracks like "10 ft. Coffin" and "Fake Violin Solo" do break some interesting new ground. Even if the album can be a little grating as a whole, at least the curious art form of pop music is being pushed ever closer to the edge of reality, with *Nsync on one side and Mixel Pixel on the other. (Mental Monkey)