Best Local Electronica Release

For two young men who appear smiling goofily in virtually every picture snapped over the past year by their increasing number of international media admirers, Phoenecia's Romulo del Castillo and Josh Kay sure produce some creepy music. Indeed Brownout may be their darkest work yet, slowing down the frenetic pace of earlier singles such as "Odd Job" (drastically reworked herein) and allowing all manner of disturbing elements to slink into the mix. Small pieces of glass and an unsprung grandfather clock crunch underneath hypnotically churning rhythms, ghostly echoes, and ominous tones. Dance-floor fodder this ain't. Yet Brownout is oddly compelling, like a horror movie from which you can't turn away -- perfect for pulling on a pair of headphones, dimming the lights, and losing yourself. Just check underneath the bed first.


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