I am always building my ultimate theoretical band. Little assemblages made of bass from this, drums like that, etc. I have countless playlists that illustrate this compulsion. To me, music creation is a grafting process, a nexus point of interpretation, where the things that touched us get funneled back out. When I first heard Decisive Pink’s Ticket To Fame it instantly grabbed me, as collaborators Angel Deradoorian and Kate NV seemed to be pulling off something I had always dreamed of.
Ticket to Fame melds the pastoral lilt of Cluster, the playful bob and wink of Will Powers or Rastakraut Pasta, the seasick dance-floor tics of Tom Tom Club and stitches up something that is equal to all. It is absurd, playful music, delivered with an omnipresent sense of levity. This humor exists within fully formed, functionally arranged songs, presented with the utmost care for sonic texture and placement. On Ticket To Fame, Decisive Pink allow these complete songs to exist alongside semi-cooked experiments, which wander and amble. The latter speak to the former. They illustrate the process, and remind us of the experimentation it took to get there.
“What Where” best exemplifies the kind of open experimentation at the core of this record. Synthetic marimbas arpeggiate and bubble, with textures woven throughout them. A spoken back and forth between Deradoorian and Kate NV piques interest. Others, like “Potato,Tomato” feel like eavesdropping on an insular clique in the throes of studio delirium.
Standout tracks “Rodeo” and “Halfmilch Holiday” are at once playful and commanding. My friend Al calls these sorts of songs “wheel grippers” . This is motorik music to soundtrack a highway drive. Textures move in and out, converse, flux and re-arrange. The result is propulsive and at once old and new.
Groove-based songs such as “Dopamine” and “Ode to Boy” wield rhythm in a way that invokes the work of the Compass Point All Stars. Basslines and syncopated rhythms project the song forward, and prop up the playful experimentation with melody, and lyricism. Synths are decidedly fun. Lyrically, the duo tackle the trappings of late stage capitalism, of consumerism and the emptiness at its core.
Ticket to Fame represents a successful adventure in experimentation. It offers a glimpse at two people completely committed to the outcome, unafraid to showcase the inherent cabin fever, humor, madness, and insularity that making a record requires. If music is indeed an exercise in grafting together our influences, then it can be said that Decisive Pink have borrowed slivers of others and created something entirely their own.