Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
There is an elusive sweet spot that is difficult to take aim at when attempting to create a pastiche of a type of music. Phone ringtone music is a fantastic example of this. Composers that gifted phone developers with music were masters of a tricky craft, making a short motif that was compelling yet inoffensive, attention-grabbing yet calculated.
There is no better phone company for ringtone music than Nokia. Throughout the 90s and into the 00s Nokia phones brimmed with incredible ringtones, each an ode to a certain style or mood. Though the days of 3310s are gone, the hard work of composers still draws the attention of old and new alike, with social media accounts dedicated to the collection and promotion of forgotten phone ringtones.
It is this brilliance that Senha 0000 frames perfectly on PhoneJams: Nokia Edition. The 36-track release explores a wide array of different Nokia ringtones, the artist augmenting them with juddered sampling and warping, drums and added instrumentation. 光から生まれた🀐ATMOSPHERES is a shining example of that wonderful, halcyonic style so many ringtones used to take. Its somnambulist pad chords drifting lazily between echoing percussion. That sleepy portamento note at the end of each wave of instrumentation, the first thing that catches your ear as you wake to your morning alarm. It sounds just like it used to, but Senha 0000’s additions blush it in this dreamy haze, the resultant track feeling as if the listener was living inside the world of the ringtone.
Even in the sudden switch up into ☎SEX☏TONIGHT✉✉✉HOTMAIL✉✉✉7778✆ we have that jarring effect one had when scrolling through their phone. The various clashing styles and feelings; all shallow and designed to get your attention. The sultry nature is a completely different world than the previous track, the artist accentuating that with a stuttering production style. At one point the track begins to wind in an extremely intense pinwheel, only to settle down once again, as Senha 0000 warps and pulls focus, achieving this incredible exploration of the source material.
The little musical journeys that featured on mobile phones of old seemed so overtly novelty at the time, such a throwaway artefact of a life in which technology was playing a more major role. What you set as your alarm or ringtone was so spectacularly mundane, and there is something about Senha 0000’s release that captures this perfectly. Each edit or augmentation made by the artist serves to amplify the brilliance of every ringtone presented. Just like clicking through a catalogue of old alarms or call alerts, PhoneJams: Nokia Edition features many different moods, all of them radiating its own nostalgic and almost utopian aura.