A choice cut from Deastro‘s full-band debut Moondagger, ‘Toxic Crusaders’ is a sparkling, valiant release from Detroit’s Randolph Chabot, powered by a huge, joyfully sad chorus and a monstrous, bossa nova beat, wholly reminiscent of both The Postal Service and M83. While it’s persistent hooks have instantaneous appeal, there’s something unconvincing about it’s contrived euphoria; ultimately it fails to reach the heights it strives for. Although the adoption of a xylophone carrying the main hookline is a welcome touch, on the whole ‘Toxic Crusaders’ seems forced and premeditated. Having been described as “joyful electronic pop”, the track embodies an undeniably ecstatic feel, but to this notoriously cynical listener, lacks the edge or sincerity to acquire perfection, partly due to some incredibly syrupy vocals.
Minotaur Shock brings a glitchy, persistent bite to proceedings via his accompanying remix, which surpasses the original on very conceiviable level, turning the conservatism of the original arrangement into something far more eerie, meaty and unpredictable, whereby choppy synths are married with snappy, venemous beats to form a far more convincing product, taking Chabot’s synth-led dream-pop to a far more venomous plane, and simultaneously adding an underlying sense of volatilty to the event.
Ever-so-slightly manipulative, but improved via a re-interpretation.