Steve AokiPillowface And His Airplane Chronicles
  • MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2008

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Cinepsace. LAX. Anyone who regularly reads celebrity gossip magazines know these two terms by heart. They also know that one person has been tagged as responsible for bridging the invisible gap between Hollywood and hipsters, dance music lovers with punk rockers.

DJ Steve Aoki has managed to become yet another tastemaker in this, the first decade of the big-business-of-music destroying century. Harkening back to the days before the Beatles, and the early days of rock n roll, Aoki’s built a small empire (kind of an oxymoron isn’t it?) by grouping people together who wouldn’t normally associate with each other. Obviously both groups party hard and involve themselves in all sorts of debauchery. Lindsay Lohan’s friends with Aoki. Paris Hilton has made an appearance or eight at his functions. With all of the excess around him, Aoki has to provide a soundtrack that fits the vibe. That appears to be the basis for Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles (possibly an allusion to his constant travel around the world to DJ various festivities).

If Pillowface is a record for those who can’t or simply don’t want to attend those gatherings, but want to know what’s like, than this CD succeeds wildly.

The record oozes with sleaziness right down to the lyrical content of the guest artists involved. Pase Rock raps “Don’t wanna find love/just wanna get off/Found God on the new episode of Lost” on Erol Alkan’s remix of Justice’s "Waters of Nazareth". “I’m such a slut” says Amanda Blank on We Are Rockstars’ “Does It Offend You, Yeah?”, also featuring Baltimore rappers Spank Rock. The squelching snyths, the numbing bass and the vocoder-laced hook evoke flashing lights, drunken twenty-somethings, barely clothed women, sweat and darkness.

Of course no dance record drenched in dirt can go without an appearance from rapper Princess Superstar. The princess, Larry Tee, and Santogold assist each other in “Licky (Work It Out)". With buzzing synths and the constant repetitious vocals of “Lick Here”, it’s not hard to guess what they want you to taste. Even dance veterans Green Velvet get in on the fun with “Shake & Pop.” Throw in a Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand remix (of “Helicopters” & “Do You Want To” respectively), as well as a Datarock song and you have the perfect soundtrack to getting recklessly wasted while appreciating the musical content that assisted you in your vice-filled night.

The group Gossip sum it up best in “Bring It On”: “Bring on what you got/Tonight you’re my god.”

You can find this compilation at a college radio staff party near you. - Stephon Johnson
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