Negative Gain Productions

By Samantha Wu

Austin, TX based synthpop artist Mr.Kitty is getting ready to release his latest album, FRAGMENTS, on August 25 — right before his appearance in Toronto for the highly anticipated Aftermath Festival.

FRAGMENTS is a fun down-tempo synth album with strong electronic elements and well-blended beats. The music is slower than what I’m used to when it comes to electronic and synthpop, making some of his tracks harder to find a strong enough beat to dance to. FRAGMENTS does make good music to have playing in the car or as background music while working.

The one thing that stands out the most for me with FRAGMENTS is how each element fuses right into everything else and not even the lyrics stand out, and is why I find the album to make great car or background music — it’s not distracting. The lyrics blend in so much that often times it’s hard to determine what they’re saying.

Unfortunately, though I find many of the tracks fun to listen to, I don’t find them to be entirely memorable. The songs don’t stand out enough for me to have a driving desire to listen. I also find them some of the songs to be rather repetitive — like the bass line in “Entwined” and “In Your Blood”.

I listened to this album predominantly through headphones while in transit and I found that the songs blended into each other very easily. I’d be listening to “Shanghai”, a song I do rather enjoy, and when the track, “I Lost You” came on, I found myself still singing the “Shanghai” lyrics and realizing that the tune sounded the same.

When I first approached FRAGMENTS, I was expecting a darker album with a faster and heavier beat considering Mr.Kitty would be part of the Aftermath line up — an industrial and dark wave music festival, but that isn’t what this is at all. “Cycle of Violence” is the one song that has that darker edge to it that I feel is more in the vein of Aftermath. Mr.Kitty’s music feels more like a lighter Crystal Castles which may feel out of place at Aftermath. FRAGMENTS is certainly not the kind of music I see a goth crowd stomping the dance floor to. I’m interested in seeing the crowd reaction.

I won’t dismiss FRAGMENTS as an album, as something to have playing in the background, music to drift in and out of, it’s great. It’s just not something I’d gravitate to at a club.