Released on October 23 2000, Droopy Butt Begone! is the first full-length release from 1-Speed Bike, an alias for Aidan Girt, the drummer of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Exhaust. Not so oddly enough Droopy Butt Begone! was put out on Constellation Records, the home of the Canadian post-rock scene and to Aidan’s other bands. But if it weren’t for his affiliation with these two aforementioned musical groups it seems unlikely that Constellation would put out such a record.
Droopy Butt Begone! is an album littered with the most lo-fi electronic music ever heard, which makes sense since the album was created using only a 12-bit Akai sampler. This lo-fi sound gives the music a somewhat old sound, as if it were created by some super-musical genius from the 80’s who could predict the shape of music to come.
Extreme low-end bass, breathy synth pads, swelling phrases, and random blips and bleeps are the main components to a typical Droopy Butt song, which will at times cut out and leave only highly reverberated atmospheres trailing on. But the key factor to the composition is the sample drums of Aidan himself.
At the times when Godspeed You Black Emperor! are in their deepest groove you can bet that Aidan is in charge of the drum kit. His fantastic snare work adds in those little hits that make your body feel the extra splice of rhythm, making you sway and nod without realizing it. Droopy Butt Begone! is filled with those catchy drumlines and then some, as working from sampler allows Aiden to combine three or four different drumlines, making beats that would be impossible to play on one drum set.
Now mix the melody elements with the drum elements and you have Droopy Butt Begone!, the super 80’s techno/hip-hop/house/drone/electronica album that has a distinctive industrial feel to it, but not industrial like the genre, more like you could just see this album being produce in some rundown warehouse.
And to top it all off the album flows like a bitch, with no distinctions between songs, as they mesh into each other seamlessly. There are moments, when in the middle of a song, the music will suddenly stop and a new theme will begin. But this never marks the beginning of another track; rather it is just a random switch up, without explanation or reason.
There is something severely lacking within the genre of music known as post-rock, and it isn’t human vocals or people willing to move their bodies at live performances. No friends, this particular thing is almost nowhere to be found in a genre of music often classified as pretentious: this thing is a sense of humor. Sure, Mogwai can deliver some funny song titles and off-stage hilarity, and Sigur Ros thinking they sing in a different language is kind of silly, but in general nothing in post-rock even borders funnyville. That’s why it is surprising that Droopy Butt Begone! should have such a sense of humor, being released on Constellation Records and all.
1-Speed Bike takes it’s own twisted view on the "political message through spoken word" rants that often pollute any given release from the post-rock superstars. These rants, from Aidan’s very own mouth, have a similar tone and effect that would come from watching cartoon television shows like The Simpsons or even South Park. What they’re saying might be silly and aimed for the laughs, but at the same time there is an obvious social commentary directly under the surface.
On the first rant of the album, towards the end of the first track, Aidan gives us his manifesto, filled with anti-capitalist opinions and shout outs to his family and friends, organic and non. He also encourages you to go fuck yourself if you aren’t down with his blinking and blonking. But this isn’t quite as funny as his rant that comes towards the end of the album. On this last one he goes all out with nonsense jibber-jabber about the forthcoming revolution, I think.
"...you and me, we stand naked, giggling; it’s nothing sexual. You will never be able to put enough clothes on us, so don’t even try. We’ll keep farting until we die laughing. We’ll keep farting for a long time because we just ate sauerkraut and beans and drank a quart of gin. You can't beat that smell. Not will deooodooorant..." -Aidan Girt, on My Kitchen Is Tiananmen Square (3:26 – 3:50)
But the funny doesn’t end there. Mixed into the music there is sometimes random silly things going on, like melodies composed entirely of people making weird sounds and the like. Of course the ending track is most goofy, as it is just the sound of a toilet flushing. And then there is the song titles themselves...
- The Day That Mauro Ran Over Elwy Yost
- Seattle/Washington/Prague 00/68 Chicago/Nixon/Regan Circle-Fighting Machine
- Yuppie Restaurant-Goers Beware Because This Song Is For The Dishwasher
- Just Another Jive-Assed White Colonial Theft
- Why Are All The Dogs Dying Of Cancer?
- My Kitchen Is Tiananmen Square
- Any Movement That Forgets About Class Is A Bowel Movement