Music Reviews




I think I’ve fallen into a film festival animation program soundtrack. Waves wash ashore with electronic gulls pooping on a completely synthesized fishing boat. There’s an optical fiber trailing out the back; I think the captain is fishing for passwords in a sea of bandwidth. But wait! Here comes a group of Buddhist monks on a tricycle, fleeing from a subsonic echo machine. I hope they can escape “Continental Drift” and leap holistically over to “Opening Ceremony (Fuse).” It’s less scary and more fun over there – a calypso band is stuck in an infinite loop, but you can smell the heliconias and feel the humidity as haunted Benedictines chant backwards while drinking Mai-Tais. Interrupted hand clapping, ratchet wrenches, and dusty samples from old sci-fi films fill out this collection.

It’s experimental music that’s too far out to make it on “Echoes” or “Hearts of Space,” but give NPR a few more years, and pledge drivers will be lining up to milk this set of weirdness. I read the press release, and I have no clear idea where this stuff comes from except a guy calling himself “Matt Radio Slave.” Weird as this all is, it has a compelling structure and playful approach that makes it much nicer than your typical head-crashed hard drive experiments on a keyboard and drum machine. I can actually keep this stuff playing in the background while I work on real projects, and I think I’ll Google Mr. Radio Slave and see what turns up. If this is Progressive Rock of the 21st century, I’ll send a note back from the Future if and when I get there and let you know.


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