Its been a while since Katz rolled around these parts, and he’s made huge strides since 2010’s Pylori Program cassette. Front and center on The Human Pet are vocals, which had not graced the washes of kosmiche synth that marked his earlier works. He moves away from the serene textures of the past and into a much more frantic, neon, fractured world. Futuristic to its core, the album flashes IDM teeth and bites them deep into a dark strain of synth-pop, though underneath it all is the pulse and poison of 90’s industrial and its bleak heat visions. On the album Katz blends those signifiers better than most hands these days, pushing him into a new echelon.
Katz first came to most people’s attention as part of White Car, and this record actually hews a little closer to that project than his previous solo incursions. He’s called it “critic pop” and I suppose that’s not too far off base here, its a deep record that’s beating a pop heart, swathed in clipped and fragmented beats that pump like glass shards through your veins. So, you know, catnip for nerds of all stripes. There’s plenty of noise slashing its way across every hook, and for that its certainly going to fall outside of the average person’s pop wheelhouse; unless you’re the type that’s packing playlists full of Minimal Wave cuts and the heatsick dance breaks of Fielded next to your early Prince funk, AFX instrumentals and NIN singles. And, why not, that sounds like a damn good time, and on The Humant Pet, it is. This is a big step forward for Katz and everytime I put it on, the well just gets deeper.
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