Andrew Hung is one half of the psych/noise/electronic act Fuck Buttons. The other half of the band is Benjamin John Powers, better known as Blanck Mass. Powers has a big Sacred Bones release coming out in May and I was wondering what Hung was up to. Well, here’s the answer: he’s making music on Gameboys.
Yes, he is. It sounds so dumb—but it certainly is not. He toyed away on a Gameboy while on tour last year and the result is a three song EP called Rave Cave. It is a resplendent sonic adventure through bygone sound rearranged into often aggressive, funny, dance-adjacent songs. “Fables” is like a Wizard Of Oz march remade using 8-bit era sound technology. Out of the three songs, this one lends itself most for your being able to attempt to pinpoint what games the sounds are coming from. It’s an exciting little song that, yes, is a little funny because it was made on a Gameboy.
“Korea Town” is a bit more serious and Tron cut by the feeling of passing by flickering neon lights. The entire EP maintains that feeling, which is ironic since the game system was distinctly colorless (for the most part). It features a curious violin that I cannot imagine was in any game (and, if it was, crazy ups to him for extracting that).
“The Plane” is the longest and seems to take the idea of the rave the most seriously. It is also the most Fuck Buttons and will most definitely end up in some mixes this year. It very much asks to be played with, it’s retro synthetics folded into a mélange of new (“new”) sound. “Plane” closes out the trio of songs and serves as a great counter balance to “Fables” retro-leaning mantra.
Rave Cave is great. From concept to execution, it’s an excellent little release. While I love Blanck Mass, this already beats his upcoming Dumb Flesh. While part of me hopes that Hung releases an extended play of songs like this, Rave Cave‘s three is likely the smartest way to distribute a Gameboy concept album: anything else would overstay the retro welcome, driving you to want to delete any nostalgia for the gaming device.