Acid techno. Need clarification? Unfortunately, clarity is hardly the aim of today’s artist: Squarepusher (the long-time alias of UK-based electronica artist, Tom Jenkinson). Although his music isn’t always dowsed in acid, Squarepusher’s penchant for spasmodic, lightning speed breakdowns has been a steady lure for the intellectually curious for up to 20 years. His work is hardly for everyone, but today we accept the challenge as we peer into his latest experiment, Damogen Furies. Then stick around for a discussion on how monetary transactions might actually impact our enjoyment of music. From concerts to streetside performances, do our endorphins jump ship the deeper we dig into our pockets?
Nearing our 3-yr. anniversary, the inkwell is far from dry — especially in the presence of cartoonists Ed Reynolds (of Fermented Zen) and Chuck Collins (of Bounce)! Shuffling up the format this week, we kick off the episode with an interview to explore the Zen/Bounce style and philosophy, and then (from 0:30:00 on) we dive straight into Ed & Chuck’s album of choice. Director John Carpenter, known for scoring most of his early films, has never released a studio album… that is, not until Lost Themes! Steeped in hazy imagery, Lost Themes is a fanciful excursion through your mind’s own creations. Join us for this in-depth analysis! Then, starting at 1:45:38, we begin a round table discussion on the use of music in cartoons. Ever since the golden age of American animation, have cartoons been less musical?
The electronic/abstract hip hop community must be delighted by the release of Scott Herren’s latest album, Rivington Não Rio, released under his long-time alias, Prefuse 73. After several other projects, Herren’s Prefuse 73 label once again incurs an eclectic array of collaborators and featured artists, while Rivington Não Rio also aims to take us down a much darker path. After we break the album down to its core, stick around for a followup discussion on ‘music description’ and the pallete of words we implement—or strain to implement—when summing up our favorite sections.
This week, our trip through “high” art involves clearing a high “arc”. In Kangding Ray’s ambitious electronica album Solens Arc, he aims to portray the simple physics of ballistics in musical arcs of three. But just how high can our arc’s arc fly when our “arc” is hard to see? Challenge your ears with this inventive album and join us in a high-flying analysis. Also join us as we explore the line between music-infused visual art and visually-enhanced musical concepts. As our minds are constantly prone to superseding roles, when does the artist’s goal become lost in translation?
Today we rejoice in the first guest appearance of our new writer, Tony Catalano! Answering up our earlier, less-refined analysis of Flying Lotus’s Until the Quiet Comes (back in CCP Ep. #19), Tony thrusts us into the artist’s latest project, You’re Dead! — this time with the combined force of the entire Crash Chords think tank. But first, we kick-start the episode with Matt’s detailed account of his journey to see the play Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and presented by the Public Theater. This clever Hip-Hop narrative of Alexander Hamilton’s life—and ultimate feud with Aaron Burr—runs until May 3rd. Finally, after the album, we talk to Tony about Tony, covering his background in jazz, his life as a copywriter, his ambitions for the website, and of course, the eternal theme of objectivity.
We’re starting off the year by reviving a prominent electronic composer by the name of Aphex Twin. After a 13-year hiatus, the man behind Aphex Twin, Richard David James, has released a new album under the old namesake, titled Syro. Steeped in bizarre titles and technical flourishes, Syro keeps us on our analytical toes every step of the way. Join us in the challenge! And afterwards, join us for a light topic: our collective expectations from the new year. We mention our new writer Tony Catalano, share some informative fanmail, and finally reaffirm the project at large.
And then the orchestra met the synthesizer… and it was good. Today we feature a special fan-chosen album for our weekly analysis, courtesy of Heather S. (@wildflowerfever). The album is called In Conflict, by the composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, Owen Pallett. Then we take some time to discuss the particulars of an upper echelon rating system. Why are things harder to rate the closer they come to true exceptionalism?
Today we find out what happens when Indi Power Pop goes electronic! However you choose to categorize them, the four-piece rock band OK Go is clearly dabbling into new areas with their latest album, Hungry Ghosts. Early in Crash Chords history, Matt had the priviledge of conducting an interview with OK Go’s drummer, Dan Konopka, while also reviewing their previous release, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. For their new album however, we administer the unadulterated CCP treatment, so hop on board and share your own opinions! Following that, we shift to a more lighthearted topic: quite simply, the nature of “rocking out!” Can this primal urge ever mingle freely with the stoic world of critical analysis?
Fasten your extra-soft Ambient belts for an armchair siesta with this week’s review of Sommer by Deepchord. Then, after taking on our most pared-down work to date, we discuss the broad artistic movement of Minimalism — when “less is more”, and when there’s an excess of “less”!
This week we’re trekking back to Electronica — this time in the loosest sense with Alison Goldfrapp emerging more as a “crooness” in her and Will Gregory’s latest release. So, come and join us in this review of Goldfrapp’s Tales of Us, followed by a discussion on what a “hook” means to us and how the definition seems to fluctuate depending on who you talk to.