Knifehandchop How I Left You

Throughout history music has served as refuge for artists suffering from a breakup. But for some artists overt references to the breakup and ensuing emotions is too much to ask — as is the case with Knifehandchop, the 23-year-old Torontonian also known as Billy Pollard, and his latest album. Reportedly constructed in the wake of a breakup, its bright, hyper post-rave near-gabber and rapid drum & bass content makes it seem like he’s avoiding emotion by creating gut-busting tunes that he brings to the dance floors of Canada, the U.S. and Japan where he often tours. I’m not so bothered by the supposed context within which the album was made, but by the album itself. Aggressive, cartoonish, hyper and insistent, it comes across as juvenile without the proper amount of joviality to balance it to make it fun. Tracks like the fuzzed out ragga dancehall "Tizzy Tixbown Riddim” and "Outside” show a little more light and variation. Outside of the breakup angle, while not a poorly presented effort (clearly ’chop knows his old school rave genres), without much more than rapid rhythms in modified tones it lacks emotion and maturity and gets tired faster than it should. (Tigerbeat6)