Optiganally Yours Exclusively Talentmaker!
Published Jun 01, 2000In 1997, Spotlight On Optiganally Yours was released by the duo of indie-pop workhorse Rob Crow (Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, Pinback, Physics) and Optigan collector Pea Hix. The Optigan was toy manufacturer Mattel's failed attempt to enter the home organ market in the early '70s with a sample-based contraption that recreated a multitude of pre-recorded vocals and instruments from optically encoded celluloid discs. Where Spotlight On... made exclusive use of the cumbersome Optigan on all of its lo-fi pop tracks, Exclusively Talentmaker! sees the Optiganally Yours duo opting for a couple other vintage optical keyboard oddities in their creative process - the Chilton Talentmaker and the Vako Orchestron. Once again the music recorded by unknown '70s studio musicians for these organs are looped and layered into scratchy analogue grooves that drive Crow's warm enchanting melodies. With slow soothing tempos leading the march, Crow structures his own vocal harmonies on top of each composition maintaining the level of songwriting skill exemplified by his recent Pinback collaboration. The strong simple melodies and stunning harmonies work on a hypnotic level perfectly suited to the old school instrumental accompaniment. While Exclusively Talentmaker! has all the trappings of a curious novelty, its songs demonstrate nothing less than an exquisite pop album. (Absolutely Kosher)