Not sure why the promo emphasis on Israeli origins here, as, were one not a critic and thus bereft of the info tip sheet, there's no least ethnic reference in the entire CD. Goto 10 coulda been from Milwaukee, Beijing, or Sydney. Certainly, there's not a jot of klezmer, nor were sabras involved, and I don't think it was produced on a kibbutz. What it is, though, is a semi-lo-fi take-off on the video game electronica formerly ushered through Nintendo, updated via Tron, and afterwards bounced onto the dance floor—hence the Pacman/-woman characters on the liner and hi-energy tempos in the grooves.
That same liner, however, isn't terribly forthcoming, though Roy Cohen, a Tel Aviv DJ, appears to be top taco here, and he's definitely conducting a nostalgia tour interpolating touches of Gary Numan and Autobahn era Kraftwerk. A clear pop sensibility invades every cut, and the guy remixed three hits (the disc's closing trio) to show his allegiances, then wrote much of the non-covers and helped with the mastering. Exactly where Cohen's playing ends and emulations begin isn't clear, but that's endemic to the realm of plunderphonics. Ella and Dharma Tadmor are the best vocalists, outscoring the males by a large margin, but the ambiance of the nine songs is two-dimensional, perhaps reflecting the inarguably thin atmospheres of the sources (those early Pacman games were just barely above bloops and bleeps). Thus, the soundfield rarely achieves the depths it should. Love Like a Melody possesses catchy rhythms and clever layers but its narrowbanded, not as bad as other cuts but not expansive either.
Goto 10 is a novelty CD. Probably one of the most unusual in this realm was The User's Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers, where a series of cheap old dot matrix printers were hooked up in tandem and programmed to produce music. It's both hilarious and striking while lo-fi, remaining a one-off but clever as hell. I'm not sure how far Jive64 can play out their more accelerated embrace of elder devices, but its version of Kylie Minogue's Turn it into Love kinda illustrates that they're already abandoning the tack. Might not be a bad idea: after all, Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones played their novelty riffs into oblivion. Nonetheless, Goto 10 has its attractions and would not disgrace a shelf holding Devo, Todd Rundgren, the B-52s, and others.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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