There have been some strange performances streamed by the good folks at Boiler Room over the years, but few DJs have made as lasting an impression from a single live appearance than the Australian songwriter and producer known best as Anklepants. On May 20 of 2014, the man who prefers to be known as Reecard Farché took to the internet's stage with an animatronic penis mask on his face and an absolutely extraterrestrial assemblage of synth pop, breakcore, and chiptune at his back, running around wildly and generally confusing the Germans who'd assembled to see a performance from Otto von Schirach. The madness that ensued has been referred to, at alternate turns, as "a car wreck," as something that will "haunt your nightmares," and, simply, "the worst Boiler Room of all time."
But to stop there—as many have—ignores the beautifully baffling catalog of recordings the Australian artist has built up in his decade-plus of slinging synthesizers under the Anklepants moniker. Blending all manner of electronic absurdisms with the surreal performance art of his live sets, he's built a body of work that's both carefully crafted and unapologetically gleeful, sort of like an alternate universe version of Tiga's dance-for-the-love-of-dance jams. Today, fortunately, he's returned with a reminder of both his careful craft and outright ecstasy with a video for his 2014 track "Just One of the Guys."
Like most of the gestures he's made over the course of his career, this is a risky one. On one level, it does feature the return of a character bearing his signature phallus mask. And sure, it adds another penis-faced person as a love interest of sorts. And ok, it includes some gratuitous shots of the nose-dicks rubbing all over one another. But if you're willing to look beyond that—and I recognize that is quite a step—the clip also tells a startling tale of heartbreak and death in a farming family that might have been directed by a depressing realist like Bela Tarr if not for, you know, the penises. Underneath it all is the surprisingly sincere "Just One of the Guys," which features some kaleidoscopic synth work, a forebodingly bouncy percussion line, and a distant vocoder line that begins "Why don't you like me?" It can be moving stuff if you'll let it, but it's still compelling even if you just get caught up in the dicks.