reviewed by Michael Thomas
Inspired by recording numerous voice memos while he was at work at a music store, the latest work from Benjamin Schillaci (Reiki Share) is what he says is his “version of a hip-hop record.” Now, if you’ve heard anything by Schillaci previously (like the incredible A Big Download) then you can guess that while this EP does have hip-hop elements, it still sounds as uniquely experimental as his previous work.
OCAD Art Fad goes by in a flash. He builds songs out of fairly simple structures: the aforementioned voice memos of him playing bass are looped, he adds in some vocalizations, and in four out of the five songs on the EP, he adds in his wonderfully zen-like lyrics. That the lyrics are delivered rapidfire only makes the listener appreciate them more; the faster they fly by, the more you’ll strain to take them all in.
The only song without Schillaci’s hip-hop delivery is opener “Yip Yip,” which is a heavenly piece of looped sounds that could have been on A Big Download. After that, we’re thrust into “Lake Superior,” whose title comes in at the end as part of what almost sounds like a dis track. “Is there a surgery to replace my disappointed point of view?” is a great line.
The title track manages to start with “You were an AutoCAD, prefab, OCAD Art Fad” which is a Herculean feat of assonance, and the chorus(?) also takes on a dis track vibe with lines like “Argue a point with the dullest wit/And you don’t have the guts to quit.”
“Skatin’ Free” is a wonderful end to the EP, using various loops of him saying “ah” to set the background and asking questions like “What’s your trending ideology?” Once again, a lot to think about, and a lot to think about in ways you’ve never thought possible.
Top Track: “Skatin’ Free”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)