Tainted Lunch, the second full-length release from Matthew Patterson Curry (aka Safety Scissors), as mixed in Berlin by Vladislav Delay, shows a healthy but strange diet of influences and thoughts. With widescreen electronic pop music wearing its heart on its sleeve, the Berlin/San Francisco-based artist proves that clever songwriting, frisky arrangements, and slanted dancefloor maneuvers will always trump formulaic thumping and shrill, chilly attitudes. From amnesia to French cooking to transatlantic affairs of the heart, the lyrics sidestep cliché in favor of an awkward vulnerability, deliberate off-rhymes and quotidian details. Balancing smarts with slapstick humor, Curry sets a Rimbaud poem about trench warfare, but calls it "I Am The Cheese" and keeps an eyebrow cocked throughout. When his wavery, emotionally direct voice (think Chet Baker as a sozzled tech support worker) and wry lyrics are combined with brisk, brittle electronic production and twangy guitars, the result adds up to classic synthetic pop music of the kind that makes everybody reach for their New Order and Magnetic Fields albums. But there's a substantial freakiness/funkiness to Curry's production too which takes '80s synth funk stabs, saxophone, a rubber bass guitar, electric piano, kazoo and banjo in stride, and sets beats and basslines spinning in odd directions, as frazzled quakes and dubbed out bleeps fizz through the mix. The cast of supporting characters and guest artists reveal a considerable pedigree: guest singers and co-songwriters include Erelend Øye of Kings of Convenience, Kevin Blechdom, Françoise Cactus of Stereo Total, and Kim West of Crack W.A.R., and there are additional production flourishes from Apendics Shuffle, and Wobbly. On these ten songs the elegant techno pop classicism of Germany is tainted by the prankster freak flag spirit of California, and the results are yummy.