“Mysterious N.Y.C. performer Aleister X first emerged in the late 2000s with a series of EPs, cameo appearances, and mixtapes, building steam toward his proper debut album, Half-Speed Mastered. The record’s 14 tracks present a collection of endless stimuli and demonstrate an intentionally obscured mastery of different musical styles in constant clash. While certain reference points could be made to try to explain the sound, nothing neatly wraps up the experience.
Some of the same intensity that characterizes Andrew W.K.’s recordings (incidentally, the album was mixed by W.K. and released on his Steev Mike label) is pushed through a psychedelic filter that drains into a melting pot of grimy bedroom beats, screwed samples, and an almost Ariel Pink-meets-Lil B production. Aleister X’s conceptual approach is so deep it becomes invisible, with both the brilliant production choices and litany of hooks sometimes overshadowed by the incredible weirdness of the project. Gritty street raps centered around Hollywood debauchery are delivered in a faux-British accent with frequent shout-outs to New York City. Bouncy sunshine pop basslines ride on scattershot electro beats on catchy tracks like “LAX” and the mantra-like “Bad Vibrations” before disintegrating into either depraved rhymes or gorgeous vocal harmonies buried deep in the mix.
Equal parts guitar rock, Streets-styled bedroom rap, and even the druggy paranoia of early Royal Trux recordings play into walls of noise like “California Gurls,” and elsewhere “Comedy City” is little more than a list of comedians as recited while on some particularly bad acid. “Dome Master Mike” manages to strangle contemporary dancehall elements around a stuttering drum machine, wrangling even more disparate sonic elements into the album’s ever-expanding patchwork.
The strength of Half-Speed Mastered that might not come through at first listen is that its seemingly random mess of strange sounds and its wild combinations are completely considered and sculpted with intention and control. Listening closely, it’s easy to see that it’d be impossible to accidentally create something this astonishingly weird and yet surprisingly engaging. Aleister X has built an intricate and totally befuddling world on Half-Speed Mastered, one less accessible but not too far removed from Beck’s weirdo beginnings or Kool Keith’s most bizarre sidetracks.
The music may be too ahead of its time to connect with every listener, and no doubt will see a fair amount of controversy, but the secretly infectious songwriting and utterly head-scratching elements of X’s persona make it a sound that’s hard to ignore whether you understand it or not.” – All Music Guide
“Half-Speed Mastered” will be released on February 19th, 2013!
Click HERE to read more about Aleister X.
With song titles to include the aforementioned “Hxllywxxd Signs,” as well as “Malibu,” “LAX” and “Topanga Strangla,” a theme becomes evident throughout the entire album. Aleister X says of the concept, “It’s meant to be a contemporary L.A. noir love affair. I love the Hollywood dark-side-of- Tinseltown vibe as well as the iconic images of bungalows, canyon houses, swimming pools and cars, weirdos, the “Boogie Nights” to “Bang Bus”-era porn industry, and Rad Culture – surfing, skateboarding, beach culture, punk, surf rock, stoner rock, west coast rap, rock and psychedelia; all the cool Southern California shit.”
Layering live instrumentation, big vocals, and samples as well as visuals into his live performance, Aleister X’s multi-media head-fuckery has spread organically worldwide. W.K. has released and co-produced two Aleister X EPs on the Steev Mike label, including 2009’s Bangers and Beans and 2010’s The Git. A hefty mixtape followed called, Black Skull Music, as well as two other EPs, respectively titled DUB and Thong Beach, both materializing in 2012 on the Sonny Midnite Music label.
Besides his notorious live NYC appearances, Aleister X has toured Australia, Canada, the U.K. and recently opened shows on Andrew W.K’s “Ten Years of Partying” 2012 US tour. Half-Speed Mastered will be available in CD, vinyl and digital formats. Pre-order info can be found on: http://aleisterx.com/ and a video for “LAX” will be premiering shortly.
Allmusic – “The Poplist With Aleister X.“
East Village Radio – “Hear Aleister X On Gay Beach.“
Meets Obsession Magazine – “LISTEN: Aleister X – Half-Speed Mastered.“
The Interrobang – “Aleister X – LAX (Video).“
Live High Five – “Interview: Aleister X.“
AMP Musicians – “REVIEW: Aleister X – ‘Half-Speed Mastered.’“
Ghettoblaster Magazine – “Stomping Grounds: Aleister X On New York City, New York.“