By Jake Paxton
Dsfeco’s Watch It Sparkle is your little window into the mind of an insane person. Completely uncompromised and unlike anything you might have heard, and frankly terrifying with each track are a few things notable of this six track album. Your mother will probably hate it and your father will think you need to be sent to the looney bin which is exactly why you should blast it is loud as you can and give them a copy for every major holiday. Let me be your Sherpa on this dangerous trek through a mystery man’s nightmarish world.
Have you ever been to an open mic and it’s dead except for a few people and an old man is on stage and he’s doing some kind of elaborate performance art while psychedelic synth art rock? Half of the stragglers are terrified and leave to smoke on the patio. The other half are hypnotized and follow him on every social media outlet immediately. There is no middle ground when it comes to this album. One gets the feeling that stream of conscious was part of the creative process for this man, however the music is very elaborately composed, rifting you between a pleasant dream and a horrifying nightmare.
It is a six song art piece stuffed with social commentary that can at sometimes seem overwhelming. It begins with “Not Again”, which I imagine the lyrics are taken from hundreds of journals in a dark apartment, most of them filled with nothing but the same sentence which is used to create almost a collage of melancholic expression. The music seems to be a looped sample that ramps from the beginning until the end.
The rest of the album flows very quickly and painfully, possibly inspired by a visit to the dentist. You're uncomfortable and the dentist begin to shove cold metal things into your mouth by track three “Watch It Sparkle”, which is the inspiration for the album title. The next track “Conspiracy” has you very worried as the dentist touches your back molar with his scalpel like tool and you wince in pain. “Yep, that molar definitely needs to come out,” he says, and your heart begins to pound in your chest.
Here he comes with the nerve gas to numb the pain in track five “I’ll Be On Your Side”, and you instantly are in a dreamlike daze. No percussion or loud industrial things to confuse and terrify you. His voice cuts through like God’s, and it isn’t on key but that’s okay because you’re transcending the need for perfection. “Just Another Good Day” is the closer for the album and you become tired as sounds of harps (actual sounds of harps) lull you into a deep trance. You feel the pressure of the tools against your teeth, but there is no pain. The album drifts off and you feel as though Dsfeco has resolved all of his previous troubles first exposed in “Not Again”.
Of course this is all an elaborate metaphor and is probably insulting to the artist by comparing his art to going to the dentist, but it is simply an example of the imagery this order of songs can conjure. Art is a Rubik’s Cube in that it is tricky to solve except that sometimes it is most beautiful when it doesn’t line up exactly as society wants it. I encourage you to listen for yourself and conjure up your own imagery. If you think that the music of Daniel Johnston is listenable then you have no excuse not to at least listen to this album.