Had Thomas Dolby, Devo, and Melle Mel collaborated on a project, they may have produced a sound close to the nerd pop of Professor Small’s Go! The electronic duo of Professor Television and Jughead Small (together, Professor Small) have created the ultimate album for fans of Dungeons & Dragons and calculus all across America’s basements. The age of electric boogaloo and breakdancing is here once again as I listen and find myself uncontrollably launching into “the robot.”
Jughead Small’s shamelessly geeky, but heartfelt rhymes are placed over geometrical Moogs and Casio beats; meanwhile random Atari-like noises poke through the cadence. It’s the soundtrack to Revenge of the Nerds, the nightmare of the hated jocks. However, the rhythms are incredibly catchy and at times are reminiscent of Godzuki. “Animals At The Disco” is one of those tracks that finds me tapping my calculator and nodding my cranium, wondering if the geeks weren’t cool all along.
“Action Spy Guy” tests the bass on your speakers but also your love for crazed, spacey keys and could easily be heard in a club setting, which separates them from other ’80s-influenced bands (Fine China, Scientific). There aren’t any catchy Johnny Marr-esque guitar riffs, because the entire album is electronic (including vocals on “Robots Unite”). “He Is Three” and “Behemoth” actually contain pretty hard beats similar to those of Massive Attack and radiate a darker, “I just got a B+ on my trig test” mood. With regards to the packaging of the CD, the inlay was obviously done on an outdated Apple containing pictures of molecules and the actual disc is a CD‑R, which strengthens the effect.
Professor Small’s live show should also be mentioned. The show really motivated my purchase as I stood in awe when the Professor approached his keys wearing a television set upon his head and Jughead sported a red jumpsuit with colossal goggles protecting his eyes from the Cornerstone sun. The robotic moves he pulled as he walked the stage rapping away proved I could judge a book by its cover. His blank stare as he would reboot and come alive, falling onto the dust-covered stage and breakdancing somehow caused the number of pictures on my camera to increase. And they were even polite enough to spread a catchy dance during “Robots Unite.”
In conclusion then… “Are we not men? We are Professor Small.”
To purchase this unique collection of computerized disco sounds, contact Professor Small at firstname.lastname@example.org. Heed to his syllabus!
Written by Nolan Shigley.