Wolfcentric is Semiautomatic’s back-to-basics, back-to-your-roots fourth album. Many of the tracks have a dirty garage feel to them despite their electronic beats. On Wolfcentric, Semiautomatic moves away from the electro-pop some of their music has been described as and focuses instead on guitar, bass and toy electronics for a homegrown sound. Bassist Rop Vazquez, formerly of the Peechees and Rice, created some of the sounds on the record by modifying the circuit boards of noise-making toys and small keyboards. It was recorded in a basement in Brooklyn, produced by the duo (Akiko Carver and Rop Vazquez) and executive produced by their dog.
Most of the songs on Wolfcentric deal with love and politics, both global and personal, as well as drugs, sex and apocalyptic boredom. “Marion Barry” is a plea to the former crackhead mayor of Washington, D.C. to save the world from war, while the title track is about a dog that wishes to escape human socialization.
Two tracks feature Ari Up of the legendary Slits, founder of England's all-female reggae-influenced punk band. Semiautomatic met Ari Up at a New York Ladyfest show at Brownie's in 2001, where Akiko served as the iimpromptu replacement of a keyboardist in her backup band. Afterwards Akiko did vocals on one of Ari's dancehall recordings in Jamaica, where Ari is widely known as Madussa. Back in Brooklyn, they continued working together and created punk dancehall sketches like "Stushpuss" and experimental hip hop with "Execution." Ari's deejaying is in Patois, as is much of her current work.
Between Wolfcentric and the group’s last record, Resident Genius, Semiautomatic worked on a soundtrack for MTV Films movie, Better Luck Tomorrow, described as a “funny-sexy-scary powerhouse” (Rolling Stone) with a “bad-ass rock 'n' roll feel” (The Globe) and a “riffing grrl-rock soundtrack” (Asian Week). The project, which involved scoring for burlarizing, partying and fighting scenes, took two months to complete. Semiautomatic collaborated closely with director Justin Lin and co-writer Ernesto Foronda to make a highly-charged score that underlined the drama and action of the film.
released September 9, 2003
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