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CD REVIEW: Damir/Rimad: Road Rash/Odd's and End's
By Ashley Petkovski - 08/18/2002 - 07:19 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Damir/Rimad
Album: Road Rash/Odd's and End's
CD Review: Much is made of the way mystery fascinates and draws attraction. However, every confused record critic will gladly tell you that no matter how intriguing the aspect of mystery may be - take the White Stripes and their husband-wife, brother-sister scenario, or Wayne-Jayne County’s impossibly fabulous legs – sometimes, we need background, simply in order to have a place to start. However, we record folks also need to make do with what we’ve got, and this, is what I’ve got:

Damir/Rimad, is one funky, funky boy from Toronto (one point for the hometown-hero thing) who has combines a little of everything create his own self-proclaimed genre – “Tech Hop”. The promo record I received boasted two records Damir’s Road Rash and Rimad’s Odd’s and End’s. Damir and Rimad’s records hold up as extremely solid records, regardless of the occasionally wavering production and a few faltering melodies.

Technical deficiencies aside and sincerely forgiven (it is an indie record, after all), Damir stands head-to-head with the best of every genre that his music happens to mingle with. Damir takes everything - from DIY electronica to conscious hip-hop to synth-pop - and holds them together with a post-punk, futurist attitude (think Kraftwerk on ecstasy). He then proceeds to take each genre out for dinner (“Don’t Let That Get You Down”), a long walk on the beach ( “I’ll Tuck You In”), the most psychotic, flailing, throbbing, pulsating, Pink-Floyd-light-show-esque party in the world (“In The Jungle, Rimad is DAMIR”), and then the middle of that dance floor (“Lawless”). After they leave him for his propensity for craziness, you end up with “I Always Wanna Be With You”. Although probably the most sugared-down, almost radio friendly moment on the record, it’s a fine showcase of one of the vital things holding together the record: Charm. Charm keeps any nonsensical lyric or shaky flow (“Tragedy & Comedy”) from dragging down the record. When you listen to “I Always Wanna Be With You,” the chorus melody could have been a complete disaster, but instead it’s a sweet, sincere, somewhat lilting vocal line that makes you want to fall head over heels for the love-struck little guy.

As well, Damir manages to touch on something else fairly impressive for modern electronic music: politics. Alright, before you all go running away, fearing the preachiness of Lauryn Hill or the snotty attitude of every anti-capitalist punk band that sells millions of records, it’s not a big deal, nor is it a feature of the record. The track “Business” takes a look at social class, and points out that money can talk for the little man, too. It’s not an in your face message, but it still makes you think.

Rimad’s half of the disc, on the other hand, doesn’t leave much to thought. More rooted in the hard house genre, Rimad’s music is good ol’ get off yer butt and dance kind of music. He keeps the charm, the outlandishness and the originality in the style of Damir, and, as they say, adds an extra beat to it. Our boy is again Toronto-channeling on the track “Bovine Sex Club,” a dark, sexy track named for the fabulous local bar. The lyrics are delivered in a very minimalist style, letting the music carry through his messages.

You can’t help but feel the tug of the energy that circulates through each and every single track on Damir and Rimad’s records. Damir/Rimad has control of his music, something that very few lyricists and musicians in his “scene” (pardon the cliché) are capable of maintaining. With exceptions like Depeche Mode, Julie Ruin, Ladytron, Le Tigre and, in my opinion at least, Cabaret Voltaire, he is one of few who can deliver emotion in typically cold, technology-based music. He manages to make his music do what all good music should ultimately do. He takes his emotion, groove, style and energy, and translates them into his own, patented sound. It’s very impressive, and it’s not as effortless as Damir/Rimad makes it seem, capturing that moment or that mood. As the mysterious voice on “The Message” says, “yeah, I like what I hear.”


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