Gaffe of a Lifetime – ‘Mansa, and the Far End of the Death Spectrum’

Posted by on May 11, 2017


The young Connecticut producer Alexandre Louis Petion recently revealed in an interview with Blake Gillespie on the Bandcamp Daily Blog that his ultimate end game is more far-reaching than simply producing dance floor-friendly tunes. His goal is “to reach something else, trying to transcend something in dance music. I wanted to make it vague as an aesthetic. I’ve also wanted to be blatant and obvious in what I’m trying to portray.” With his latest tape under the Gaffe of a Lifetime moniker, Mansa, and the Far End of the Death Spectrum — released in the Winter 2016 bundle of cassettes from Minneapolis-based MJ MJ Records — Petion is certainly delivering a poignant message.

Leading off with “Sedent,” which quotes the American Jobs Act speech by Barack Obama, Mansa launches on a staunchly political note. Petion continues to fuse his dark techno and electro jams to the American socioeconomic situation by punctuating his songs with evocative titles. “Potholes in American Ceilings,” “Justify the Inane,” and “Google Malaise” are all deeply moving and inventive pieces of electronic music, yet pack a slightly mightier wallop when delivered under such disconcerting headlines. Closing the proceedings with the swirling and melancholic “TOUKI,” its gorgeous piano lines and punchy horn exclamations providing a soundtrack to decay, Petion reveals a future as uncertain as he undoubtedly sees it himself.

As I intimated earlier, Mansa, and the Far End of the Death Spectrum is available as part of the latest — and sadly, final — batch from the MJ MJ imprint. Label head Andrew (aka Sasha Conda) and partner/designer Nico Stephou recently announced via their Facebook page that the label is being put on hiatus, the catalogue culminating in a final split tape from the pair themselves, available at the end of the summer. In the meantime, they are offering their entire catalogue at a steep discount (see the aforementioned Facebook post for details), donating any proceeds to charity.

Now be a lamb and snap up this tape (and whatever else you can lay your hands on) over at the MJ MJ Bandcamp site.