F.O.O.L. – Destroyer Of Speakers EP Review

By  | 

Ever since EDM took  baby steps away from Turntablism, producers have fiddled with balancing synthesized sounds with organic ones. Still, there will always be some who focus on taking digital sound to its full potential, not toiling over making sine waves cooperate with string ensembles. F.O.O.L. is a prime example of this unapologetic EDM with the Destroyer of Speakers EP.

The artist’s full name is “F*** Our Ordinary Lives”, and is listed that way, without asterisks, on the few social networks that will allow it. To save time and professional relationships most simply call him by the acronym. When F.O.O.L. first debuted in 2009, the group consisted of Rasmus Hermanson and Oliver Nilsson. It is now simply the stage name for Rasmus, since Oliver moved on in the Summer of 2013.

Destroyer keeps a stranglehold on the ‘E’ in EDM, and this is either a blessing or a curse depending on your point of view. Any avid listener of Electro/House, Dubstep or Drum & Bass isn’t going to be shocked by the quality of sound design. Sample selections come from a modest grocery list of basic warbling bass, sweet-sounding leads and filter sweeps. The synths themselves aren’t especially creative, but it is worth noting that the selection of kick/snare samples are hardly ever the same from track to track. The fill percussion, meaning shakers, cymbals, etc. are also varied, and are consistently bright and enjoyable in their own “retro” way.

Despite the simplicity of the samples, it’s not a bad set of mixes. The ‘D’ in EDM is represented almost as fully as the ‘E’, and the strength of this EP is not in its production, but its composition. The songs do exactly what they’re supposed to do: Move people, make it easy to follow, but don’t make it so simple that it’s boring. The majority of playing time is bouncy, foot-tapping and head-bobbing.  

The beat stays solid, sticking with a basic “one-two, one-two” pattern for most tracks, and only briefly drops into different patterns, usually just as a fill-in between sections. It truly motivates you to move no matter what the song is doing, and the consistency does a good job of tying together songs that like to shift styles often. The near constant disco beat allows Melodic hooks, modulated drops and glitched arpeggios to all inspire you to start dancing in their own way. Even the drops are better described as fun rather than heavy, trading intensity for accessibility.

Repetitiveness is avoided by seamlessly transitioning between those three styles with excellent pacing. Right before a drop becomes tiring, it goes directly into a hook without ever losing momentum. This hook follows suit, and has no chance to bore you before F.O.O.L. pulls it back to let you catch your breath with a reserved transition section. You’ll get just enough of a break to prepare for the next build-up, then it’s back to the dance floor vibe. The timing and variety is fantastic, and sets the EP apart from amateurs and pretentious professionals alike. Rasmus is not so arrogant that he expects your attention to be held with two straight minutes of the same synth lead.

All things considered, Destroyer of Speakers is solid, but still far from perfect. Production and sound design is adequate for EDM fans, but don’t bother playing it for people who are used to Top 40 or Hip-Hop. That is, unless you want an epic chorus of “this sounds like a video game!” repeated throughout the night. If played for its intended audience, however, it will likely be appreciated for its upbeat vibe. It’s not a revolutionary collection of EDM mixes, but it’s bouncy without being corny, and has a superb sense of pacing.

Speaking of pacing, the EP has a running time of approximately 20 minutes, spanning 5 separate tracks. If you’re an audiophile, and want a high quality copy of Destroyer of Speakers by F.O.O.L., Beatport’s got you covered for a little under 8 USD. Thriftier bass heads can purchase the EP in MP3 format from Amazon, which will cost just short of 5 USD.  It’s not a bad deal, as 4 of these 5 tracks are easy dance floor picks. This EP is not currently available on CD or vinyl.

-Read more music reviews:

Exmag – Proportions: Soulful Sounds of the Future

EP Review: Katfyr – Here We Go