LV City Life: February '01
Flaspar Erotic Jetplane Stylings (Sour Cream and Velvet; local)
In the hipster sweepstakes to hybrid any two or three pop subgenres together and proclaim it as some cutting edge style of music, most of the curious music listenership have received nothing but lo-fi pretension, one-dimensional novelty and harmonic bombast—all which try and veil the fact the creator of the hybridized sound can’t write a song to save his life.
That said, it’s hard where to place local artist Flaspar (a.k.a. Cody Brant). Flaspar, who occasionally plays Cafe Espresso Roma, incorporates a lot of different styles and sounds in his context-less music. And yet, he doesn’t really seem to embody the pretentious tastemaker, or some alt.music jack-of-all-trades. His full length, Erotic Jetplane Stylings, sounds like a guy in his bedroom having fun and experimenting with sound. A mix of digital mischief, “Mystery Science Theater”-like samples (some contributed by his friends and live bandmates) and acoustic revelry, the uncategorical Stylings goofs on the collaged coffeehouse noise; imagine Beck, Kraftwerk and Aphex Twin updating the score to A Clockwork Orange. Countless spoken word samples of various, random themes (“Your Heart’s Throbbing Yellow Radiance” sounds like postmodern sex therapy) lace his electric dementia, composed of brief bits of acoustic and funky guitar play, quirky synth effects and mechanic beats. If you’re looking for something to sing along, don’t bother. The 35-minute disc is devoid of vocals, and conventional melodies for that matter. On the flipside, given the haphazard musical couplings here, the musical elements here are respectfully treated. It’s absurd, but any fan of abstract lounge kitsch oughta dig this. And you thought Paraquat was the Vegas anomaly. —Mike Prevatt
Aiding & Abetting: July '01
Flaspar Erotic Jetplane Stylings (self-released) There's this illustration in the liners that perfectly explains what Flaspar is all about. It's a person, with the head of a smiling man in an astronaut helmet, the body of a fit woman wearing a short sweater dress (sitting, legs crossed, so that you can see the tops of her stockings attached to a garter belt). The kinda strange thing is that the top leg is artificial, attached just above what would be the knee.
In other words, these people (person? I can't really tell) like to make singular pieces out of many parts. Electronic work, with lots of samples and found sound plastered over strikingly idiosyncratic beat work. Did I mention that Flaspar likes to create unusual pieces?
Right. There's not much in the way easily accessible points. You've gotta be in the mood to be challenged to give this a proper listen. That's not to slag. I happen to really be grooving on the stuff right now. That's how my mind works.
Taking up the challenge will yield rewards. Flaspar journeys to some cool places, and I came away with a number of great ideas. That's what music like this does for me. Kind of a creativity recharge, if you will. The album is hardly cohesive; you've gotta connect the dots for yourself. I've always found that to be a most invigorating exercise.
In Music We Trust: July '01
Flaspar Erotic Jetplane Stylings (No Town) By: Alex Steininger
Video-game-space-electronica, Flaspar creates atmosphere, sound waves, and plenty of sound pictures for you to view in your mind as the lo-fi quirkiness of their sound spins and buzzes around your head. Sometimes funky, oft-unusual, Erotic Jetplane Stylings is a twist of future Americana electronica at its best. I'll give it a B+.
Splendid E-Zine: July '01
Flaspar / Erotic Jetplane Stylings / Sour Cream and Velvet (CD) Sample 30 seconds of "I am an Empty Box" Flaspar are part of the growing contingent of home recording artists with a penchant for Kraftwerk and goofy samples. Music that would have been impossible thirty years ago is now easily produced on a home computer -- an object almost as popular the television set. With ready access to production tools comes the supplemental criticism, "Anyone can do that!" While this assumption seems to be true, Flaspar and others like them are participating in a musical revolution of sorts: they are the early 21st century equivalent of 1977, though on a much smaller scale. Subsequently, with albums like Erotic Jetplane Stylings, the critical-listeners' (that's you guys) emphasis shouldn't focus entirely on the artist's technical proficiency, because there aren't any predominant forms of insight -- and if there are, the listener in most instances remains ignorant of them. Therefore, the listener should attempt to comprehend the album as it relates to both their own and the artists' individual interests, motivations and even neuroses. While Erotic Jetplane Stylings doesn't break any creative stratospheres, its bleeps, bloops and samples are charting out the music that should one day permeate, in some form, all aspects of forward-moving aural expression. -- jw