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Mystic Pete - BassPop

BassPop is a five-song EP by Mystic Pete.

And that’s about as much as I can describe it.

First off all, there are discrepancies in his press release – the track listing is different there than on his official Soundcloud – but more importantly, all the instruments, including the “strong female vocals,” are attributed solely to Mystic Pete.

If that’s actually him singing the female vocals, he’s fucking amazing. Seriously, he sounds like Joy Williams.

Basically, the album blends electronic music with spirituality: Mystic Pete credits the album “Bass + Pop + Kirtan = someone had to do it!!”

Kirtan, for those of our readers who are as of yet unenlightened, is traditional Indian call-and-response chanting performed in bhakti traditions. That’s why each of the tracks on this album has subtitles e.g. “Goodbye [Om Namah Shivaya].” I got unpleasant whiffs of cultural appropriation from this; the dude’s name is Mystic Pete, and I’m a bit put off by the idea that he’s using Indian spirituality to sell his music. He’s a white guy based in LA and I just find it disingenuous; is he using this spirituality thing to try and give himself a niche? Keep in mind I’ve never talked to him and all I get for these reviews is a press release and the album itself. I could be incredibly off the mark, but I personally found the blend of dance music and ethnic mysticism unappealing and duplicitous.

That being said, the songs themselves are well-composed and interesting. His beats carry his melody well and his cello playing is phenomenal, bringing a charming classical air to the otherwise electronic instrumentation.

My favourite track is the first one, “Halloween Night [Shiva Shakti].” It’s a fun Danny Elfman-inspired Halloween-themed song, and would be appropriate to play at any party between now and the end of the month.

Have you seen that movie with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore called Music and Lyrics? It’s a shit movie, but I love it. There’s a tongue-in-cheek character named Cora, who’s a pop star. She’s supposed to be a representation of the vapidity of modern pop music, juxtaposed with its composers’ self-indulgent tendencies. She sings simple 90s pop music with a heavy Buddhist theme; her biggest hit is called “Om Shanti Shanti,” and she twirls around in a thong onstage while she sings it.

I think the point I’m driving at is that when Mystic Pete assures us “someone had to do it,” I would argue, “Did they?”


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