As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Cream Juice.
The duo of Keith Rankin (AKA Giant Claw) and Henry Dawson don’t do light pleasantries. Their symbiotic self-titled debut, Cream Juice, is genuinely sweet, but it dispenses with formalities in favor of shoving niceness all over your carefully crafted grill like a handful of extravagant wedding cake.
In a world where manipulated sounds and gnarled synth is often behind the B-movie horror soundtrack Renaissance or boasting of our decaying world, Cream Juice fuses high energy beats and scattered synthesizer to create a collage of all things entertaining. The pair’s first cassette harnesses the hum of classic arcade machines as Pac-Man does battle in a pelleted plane. It’s the weightless sensation of endless rides on the Gravitron. It is ghost stories told in a pitch black bathroom. This is little boys running around lush green yards mimicking laser noises with adolescent mouths.
But Cream Juice isn’t necessarily a nod to nostalgia, but remembrance turned into modern art. Much like Duchamp and Warhol reshaped our view on the mundane, Dawson and Rankin mod podge childish enthusiasm with sophisticated storyboarding. The results aren’t untouchable, this is art to be cherished and transformed in the hands of its occupants. It’s a playfulness repeated by the label, Orange Milk, which released Cream Juice. We want to drink the strange, neon colored milk or enjoy a thicker flavor of sweet juice.
Combining favorite things can lead to mounds of chocolate chip spaghetti covered with nacho cheese and gummy worms, but it also can lead to the s’more. Cream Juice is the tastiest, gooiest s’more. Dawson and Rankin’s collaboration is new pop art, replacing singular wholesomeness with gobs of it. Oliver Twist, you MAY have some more--there’s plenty to go around.