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Paul Ransom, Inpress 2008

Whenever you see big goverment sponsor logos on the back of an album, the alarm bells usually start ringing.
My God, goverment-approved electronica. That can only mean two things: either saftey checked wallpaper for working family consumption or arcane weirdness that no record company in this country would ever want to spend money on.
With "Trigger Happy" it's the latter.

This 'itelligent' record of burbling, burping, bleeping broken up beats and soundscapes should definately be filed under abstract. This album calls to mind the kind of space that Warp records were trying to inhabit once upon a time, with its blend of Autechre, Aphex, Recoil and even Cabaert Voltaire. It looms over you, impassive and monolithic.

Typical of the album's oeurve is the eerie fluttering of 'Computer Rain', with its crisp, compressed sounds and insectiod shuffling momentum. This is the soundtrack to an imaginary David Lynch film, one set on an ice sheet, where lonely weirdos wander around in an hallucinogenic and vaguely melancholic daze.
Elsewhere, 'CF1' drops in chilly piano lines and a subtle jazzy drum pattern as it builds to a heavy, beat-laden plateau. 'Heifen' starts with rounded pulses before crashing into razor sharp beatsand mind altering backwashes of almost lush sweetness. "Electric Sheep' briefly threatens to be '80s electro funk but diverts into much harsher territory and ends up steely and glinting.

Comatone & Foley are clearly brining ideas from places as far apart as industrial noise and Nordic Jazz, and the result is a dangerously abrasive chemical stew of strangeness and alienation. If it were a book it would tell the tale of a Soviet-style dystopia. Taxpayer money well spent.

Mark Godfrey 2008
This is a challenging record.

I have taken longer than usual to decide what it does for me. I challenge you to decide what this arty, ad lib take on electronica does for you.

At first play, most tracks reminded me of a crashing 8-bit computer game from the 80s getting stuck in a sound loop. On subsequent plays, the complex intricacies of Trigger Happy start to unfold.

Indeed, the subtle everyday sounds and objects that Comatone & Foley seem to have woven in become more apparent, and you can really begin to appreciate the originality of the source of much of their percussion. Indeed, Prayer Bowl appears to have been played entirely on one object of the same name.

And it’s the percussive elements that drive this record for me, moodily set to a backing of Jarre-esque synth strings and acoustic mayhem. To complete the wide mix of moods, more mainstream dance beats take over on some tracks and couple well with the interesting timings and almost random syncopation.

Crazy rock guitar breaks out in Electric Sheep, demonstrating the duo’s desire to surprise the listener and blur the boundaries between musical styles.

This is one of the more marketable tracks in my opinion, though I base that on its slightly more melodic bent and a more traditional time signature. But to be honest this track is not the reason you would buy this record; it is everything else to be found contained therein, a lot of which does not become apparent until you’ve listened through several times. I like this re-play value.

Mark Godfrey is a Melbourne based web developer, guitarist and singer-songwriter, and a veteran of the UK rock pub/club circuit. When not doing any of the above he enjoys stargazing and reading theoretical physics. 



evilchris, 3D World


"In the wake of his 2006 collaborative album with composer Amanda Handel 'Ghosts And Angels', this latest full length from Greg 'Comatone' Seiler see him joining forces in the studio with Gauche/Darth Vegas drummer Alon Ilsar (aka Foley).
There;s certainly a Planet Mu-esque sensibility to many of the 11 intricately constructed tracks collected here, with complex glitchy programming and the occasional rapid-fire drill and bass excursion nestling inbetween extended periods of downbeat classical ambience.  It's often startling to hear just how many different moods and elements Seiler and Ilsar have packed into single tracks, and it's certainly no surprise to find out Trigger Happy was the result of around two whole years in the studio.  Brilliantly excecuted stuff - fans of the likes of Pivot, Triosk and Richard Devine will find loads to love here. Me, Ican't wait to see them pull it all off live. "
9/10




evilchris, 3D World

"In the wake of his 2006 collaborative album with composer Amanda Handel 'Ghosts And Angels', this latest full length from Greg 'Comatone' Seiler see him joining forces in the studio with Gauche/Darth Vegas drummer Alon Ilsar (aka Foley).
There;s certainly a Planet Mu-esque sensibility to many of the 11 intricately constructed tracks collected here, with complex glitchy programming and the occasional rapid-fire drill and bass excursion nestling inbetween extended periods of downbeat classical ambience.  It's often startling to hear just how many different moods and elements Seiler and Ilsar have packed into single tracks, and it's certainly no surprise to find out Trigger Happy was the result of around two whole years in the studio.  Brilliantly excecuted stuff - fans of the likes of Pivot, Triosk and Richard Devine will find loads to love here. Me, Ican't wait to see them pull it all off live. "
9/10





Nayt Keane, The Silent Ballet 2009


Spoiler Alert: reading this review may reveal too much, and ruin the vivid fun you might otherwise have listening to this record. It's really good.

If you like your food to be local and your art wild, then maybe you'll be like me when you first listen to Trigger Happy and totally love it. What starts out as an Amon Tobin-inspired weatherscape, turns into a solitary piano phrase, designed to force us into deeper consideration of the space between the speaker and our ear. This opening definitely comes as a surprise, but as "CFI" progresses, it transforms many more times. Soon electric splatter-core gives way to a very wet sounding acoustic instrument being shredded by a child, which then feeds the off-kilter drumming in our peripheral vision, all backed by some doctor-approved audiology tones serving as the curious bass line. What does this have to do with local food? It's fresh!

Nothing piques the fancy like fresh ideas, and the Australian combo Comatone & Foley (or G. L. Seiler and Alon Ilsar) have plenty of them. Using a live drum kit with plenty of effects and programmed electronics, it's amazing how many different sound environments they decided to engage. Ilsar developed his own instrument called the MARU, which manipulates sounds and effects "by moving MIDI sensors attached to a baseball hat, the subject of which is currently undergoing an overhaul to make a more involved full body triggering device" (from their myspace page). It is no surprise that the album took over two years to make, which is usually one of those facts about a work that can convince you of its potential depth right away (though sometimes it's the drugs). Each track is a unique creature. We visit the world of Venetian Snares freaking out in rush hour traffic on "Morsecode". The beat-boxing on "Heifen" is oddly paired with some untamed, lazy-boy singing. "Prayer Bowl" is an album standout, with bowl strikes ricocheting around the headphones, creating a very tangible structure, like watching ants build a nest in time-lapse. Foley's drumming tackles some pretty exciting time signatures and free-form material. Combined with Comatone's piano parts and melodic rhythms, it all becomes quite riveting, an animal with a consciousness that changes each time one listens. This is what I would want to dance to out on the town.

If their live performance of this material is anything like the Norwegian jazz-tronic group Strønen and Storløkken, then anyone going to see this stuff is going to have their mind blown. It is relentlessly danceable and intellectual. The layering is like a matrix of mycelium. Bells and chimes help texture some of the more abstract pieces. Even some vocals color a couple tracks, but if the album's perpetual style mutations make you feel comfortable, nothing can prepare you for the explosive surprise they drop on "Electric Sheep." The skittery beat and vibraphonic chimes play nice with a child-like android voice that sings of electric sheep (but do they dream of them?!). They back off to let a completely fuzzed out rock band barge through the doors and raze the building to the ground! Completely out of left field, but absolutely delicious and appropriate. And you never saw it coming, begging you to question what kind of a record you are actually listening to. What genre is this? Who the fuck cares? This music is as exciting as dashing someone's expectations.

Don't let the album cover fool you into thinking this is some kind of computer software company (I don't really get it, either). The power of Trigger Happy is in its exciting variation and richness of composition. Each consecutive listen takes you deeper down the rabbit hole. By the time "Computer Rain" and its nocturnal insect shuffle comes on, you've probably checked to make sure you were listening to the same band. I thought the last song was a bit dull, actually, like some Frontline Assembly mock-up, but I would never compare the two groups. The score I gave would have been higher if I didn't think these talented architects could do even better. For now, I am highly thrilled with Comatone & Foley's confident wrangling of this heavy-idea organism. Easily one of the best electronic records of the year.

8/10