Adventure’s particular brand of electronic pop is steeped in the work of chiptune acts and electronic pop acts alike. Weird Work is an earned title, many of the songs tilt and lilt frenetically and jubilantly. This is an album built around an impressive array of tones – tones that you may have heard before, and may even have access to on your computer, but tones that have been curated into an exceptional, albeit a little unmemorable, package.
‘Laser Blast’ lives up to its name by being both artificial and assaulting in a cartoony way that makes the use of the term “laser blast” appropriate. The song is driven by an incredibly IDM-inspired beat, but there’s something in the vein of science fiction insisting upon it as well. Even intelligent dance music isn’t this nerdy, this literary. This is music that begs and pleads for you to just give yourself up to it, but rewards you for maintaining your distance and being academic.
On “Constantly” we come as close to the background music of a JRPG as I’m comfortable with hipster dance music being, and one of Weird Work‘s biggest flaws is exposed. “Constantly” is an impressive track, and the pitch-shifted vocals that phase in and out of intelligibility is a nice, chilling touch, but the song – and a lot of this album – really does sound overcomposed, and as a result somewhat homogeneous. Nowhere on Weird Work is space given to any one single theme or melody, and though such an approach is supported by the album’s stellar production, it also allows the whole thing to slip into the realm of background music.
Weird Work is an album deserving of more credit than it’s going to get, and it also sees Adventure stepping away from the more pop-oriented fixtures of The Other Side. It’s a confusing album, and it straddles a precarious line between DJ work and traditional IDM – often to dizzying effect. It’s an album that’s meant for a big room of people, not spending time alone in your bedroom with your headphones on; the problem is, it’s also an album that you need to stay still for in order to appreciate all of its many complexities. And it hardly lets you do that.