The Damian Slash Mixtape | Radio review by Steve Bennett

The Damian Slash Mixtape

Radio review by Steve Bennett

One sketch in the opening episode of The Damien Slash Mixtape spoofs Open Book, but with Mariella Frostrup replaced by a  much more urban voice, bigging up a Twitter beef between two literary heavyweights.

It’s a little similar to the way Slash himself has crashed on to Radio 4, with an urgent, noisy show that feels more like the sort of comedy offerings Radio 1 put out when it dabbled in ‘the new rock and roll’ in the Nineties, rather than something that shares a wavelength with Thought For The Day.

The vigorous soundscape is busy with effects, such as the frequent tape rewind between skits (like the record scratch, there’s no digital equivalent)  or a jingle reminding listeners of Slash’s name every 30 seconds, as if he were a particularly insecure local commercial radio DJ.

Maybe the constant reminders are necessary, as Slash – real name Daniel Barker–  is so vocally dexterous that you have to be reminded that it is all the same man in every scene of this brisk 15-minute episode.

Sketches start on the safe side. A Morgan Freeman voice just because he can in a  quickie that could have been a Dead Ringers reject, or a hipster character that’s little more than a cluster of all the overfamiliar Shoreditch clichés Slash can muster, opening a pop-up gluten-free juice bar.

But then he starts letting things get a little strange in short, surreal narratives that span several scenes. Favourites are the internet troll who, far from being a sad angry loser, is an erudite well-spoken man considering his work as performance art, and the delightfully offbeat concept of a dog building up a relationship with his new owner like a particularly creepy predator.

Slash’s throw-everything-at-it approach produces dividends, but it’s notable that the less frenetic moments are the ones that prove the most memorable.

Review date: 14 Jun 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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