Jean Jacques Perrey and Cosmic Pocket - Froots (InVitro)

Do you have a penchant for elderly gentlemen transfixing you with transdimensional bleeps and beats? Don't you think that perhaps you should?

Released Jul 9th, 2010 via InVitro / By Simon Harper
Jean Jacques Perrey and Cosmic Pocket - Froots (InVitro) For a man who is 80 years old, Jean Jacques Perry can still pack quite a musical punch. The legendary purveyor of electronic music has inspired legions of producers and composers, as well as working with a host of such disparate names as Ice T, Edith Piaf, Walt Disney and synth pioneer Robert Moog, and a generation of acolytes including Luke Vibert and Miss Hypnotique.

A collaboration with his compatriot Cosmic Pocket, the Frenchman essays a wide range of electronic pop on Froots, which is dominated by wide-eyed, glitchy electronica and disarmingly child-like and charming sounds. That it doesn’t feel like it’s repeating itself during the 45-minute running time is testament to the ideas and off-kilter sounds they have at their fingertips.

Certainly, the first half of the album is dominated by mutant melodies and a pervading toytronica theme, with alien noises and squelchy beats to the fore. The quasi-exotic ‘Fructifiction’ adds an extra layer to this, melding an oddly graceful feel to the grin-inducing fun on offer. It’s deliriously giddy in the way that few electronic artists can manage, and is reminiscent of the kind of gleefully exciting and unashamedly nerdy approach employed by Brian Duffy in his Modified Toy Orchestra and ZX Spectrum Orchestra guises.

There are some nods to more voguish concerns too, not least on ‘Fake Off’ which doesn’t sound very far removed from chillwave sounds, fizzing with energy and retro synth stylings as well as Balearic-inspired beats. It could comfortably sit alongside the output of Delorean et al, delivering a sun-kissed electronic pop song which nevertheless retains the signature elements which characterise Froots and distinguish Perrey’s work from the young synth-prodders vaunted in the blogosphere.

Elsewhere, Perrey and Cosmic Pocket throw themselves into their sonic adventurism with delightful abandon, with the overall effect being like the musical equivalent of Lego building blocks. ‘Cheng Guy’ takes an Eastern-tinged melody and plays with it until it’s stretched and contorted into a weird electro-pop ode, while ‘Six Froots Under’ twists insouciant space-dub shapes from swirling electronics, contributing to what is perhaps a slightly uneven but immensely gratifying record.

With a peculiar humour and warmth running throughout its course, Froots marks the latest passage in the discography of this stalwart of electronic music and experimentation. A challenging and intriguing listen, it’s bound to elicit a response – those with a penchant for transdimensional bleeps and beats would do well to explore further.