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Lesser



Since 1995 Lesser has been taking the piss out of everyone and everything, most of all himself. Beginning with his first self-released cassette, I Hate Me, which came packaged with a razor blade, Jay Lesser (aka Lesser, LSR, l57, and DJ 40 year-old woman) has been unrivaled in terms of irony and self-deprecation. The featured article in the press section of his web site calls his most recent full-length "a detriment to humanity." His songs have titles like "One Ambient Motherfucker" and "Matador Records Tax Deduction" (on a record for Matador Records). His track about Oval, "Markus Popp Can Kiss My Redneck Ass," ruffled more than a few feathers.

So, what does Lesser sound like? Naturally, his music is as full of trickery and tomfoolery as his personality. Utterly schizophrenic and quite possibly even more fucked-up than the work of partner-in-crime Kid606, Lesser's mix of drum and bass, broken hip hop, and overblown gabber make Aphex Twin and Alec Empire sound like smooth jazz.

2001 was a busy year for Lesser. First, he received worldwide acclaim for his Matador album, Gearhound. In true Lesser style, this album was all over the map, and to his credit, it might be the most unconventional record ever released by Matador. (In case you're wondering, according to Lesser, "A gearhound is the same as a tablegazer, which is the same as a chinstroker: the people who come to electronic music shows and sit in the front and stare at what you're doing and what equipment you're using.") Next, he got a call from his friends Matmos, with whom he frequently collaborates and often performs live, who asked him to come along on their world tour with Björk. Jay agreed and brought along a hurdy-gurdy and an assortment of other strange instruments for Matmos's opening sets. The results were stunning (Matmos and Björk's show was far and away this writer's favorite of the year).

This brings us to his 2001 EP, Mensa Dance Squad. Named after the worldwide association of individuals who test in the top two percentiles of a standard IQ test, it's a direct jab at the IDM list, a mailing list dedicated to "Intelligent Dance Music." Lesser notes, "The Mensa Dance Squad are the fans, basically - the IDM list, some of whom are nice people, but they're kind of freaky, kind of weird, lurker people." As evidenced by the tracks presented here, this album features more wild and wily beats and breaks than you can shake a stick at. Lesser has done it again.

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