Category Archives: monotony monday

PCP: Igorrr

Monotony Monday #16 (Real) – Mais Melodies

A Frankenstein of Influences

Yis, Master(fully done music)

The short of it: If there’s beauty in chaos, Igorrr is chaos in beauty. 

Of everything I’ve recommended, Igorrr presents the largest challenge. Anime could be a cartoon, manga a comic book, podcasts a radio piece, RPGs an improv show.

But Igorrr is a bit harder to simplify. He’s a composer, a producer, a musician. But at the same time, his mastery of multiple melodies makes his music surprisingly inaccessible for those with non-esoteric tastes.

This is the second difficulty of selling his music– musical elitism, especially regarding genres and subgenres, is disgusting. It can invalidate valid criticisms and ruin recommendations. And I personally despise it; it’s the perpetual thorn in music discussion’s side. So I’m struggling with describing his music without falling back to the undescriptive and unattractive terms of “normal” or “mainstream.” Hell, even non-esoteric is pretty esoteric.

So Igorrr makes music. The genre is technically breakcore, with various YouTube comments referring to it as “baroquecore” or “paniccore” or various other conflated typings that are plaguing musical innovation.

It’s brutal– fast, seemingly chaotic, loud and sorrowful and angry. It’s reminiscent of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, only with less of a refined edge. And again, it’s just hard to quantify what I mean by that. Igorrr is immensely talented, and so are Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. But while the latter two’s music seems honed to a fine point where they make amazing use of their skills with their equipment and instruments, Igorrr just seems to grasp at everything within reach. Opera, baroque music, dizzying blast beats, guttural screeches and refined metal screams, everything is sucked into this precisely laid-out composition.

I may be misconstruing the type of music his contemporaries make, but, at the very least, I need to talk about the fascinating oddity that is Igorrr.

He takes these clean samples, like this elegant guitar melody, and drags them through the mud and filth to make them beautiful.

I mean, come on, the dude made a song out of his chicken’s pecks.

Real cock of the walk type of music.

PCP: White Noise

Monotony Monday #?? – Mmmmmmeh

hmmmmmmmmmmmm

The short of it: Sometimes sleep is more than the silence that starts it. 

You stare at the back of your eyelids.

The roar of nothing deafens you.

You blink in and out of consciousness, waiting for the one that lasts more the unsatisfying split second that trades time for nothing.

This is supposed to be sleep, the great equalizer, the cousin of death.

And yet it dances around you like some sort of dark goose. Black swan. Whatever.

That’s when the A/C kicks on again, replacing a silent roar with an actual roar, gently rattling over the sound of the world outside. The fog of noise surrounds you. The hum slowly travels in one ear before exiting out the other, collecting the terrifying array of thoughts screaming around in your brain as it leaves. A blanket of ambience settles over you, coaxing the cure for your exhaustion.

And then you wake up.

 

PCP: “Mononokay”

Mononotony Monday #15 – Monono More Like Moyesyes

Sorority Noise is More Than Noise

The short of it: A song made me feel again, okay?

There’s a lot I want to say about Sorority Noise. They’ve quickly raced past the likes of The Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball to become my favorite emo/pop punk-y band, and, by extension, one of my favorite musical acts in general.

At first listen, I thought they were another annoying indie-lite band with nonsensical lyrics, thanks to Pandora’s recommendation of “Dirty Ickes” (“I taught myself Norse to sit on your front porch” – I mean, c’mon).

I eventually got others like “Where Are You?” and “Blonde Hair, Black Lungs,” which quickly won me over with their mix of melody and edge. I was planning to write about “Where Are You?” because of how accessible and catchy it is. Instead, I mentally pushed myself into writing about the song that nearly broke me.

I mean, shit man. That’s the first time in a long time a song’s actually stopped me in my tracks and consider myself.

What does it mean to be happy?
And am I getting better?
I used to make excuses for myself but it’s not the weather
I’ve tried to rid myself of my anxious tendencies
But I have to accept my head for what it is to me
I’m not super human
Well I’m barely alive
But I would kill to leave my house and not be afraid of the outside
So I started thinking
It’d be so nice
To not have trouble sleeping
I haven’t slept in nights

Cameron Boucher’s monotone confession is the same monologue I’ve had when it’s too late and I’ve done too much thinking.

Plus, I’m basically the same person.

imageimage.jpeg

PCP: “Too Old to Die Young”

Monotony Monday #14 – Mais Yeh

The Dege Ain’t Silent

The short of it: It’s one song, come on now.

Maybe it’s because I just finished binging season one of True Detective (guess what Imma gush about Wednesday) and I’m feeling hyper-nostalgic, but man, Louisiana is cool. And so is Lafayette.

I originally heard this song on the Django Unchained soundtrack and loved it on first listen. It wasn’t until I looked it up later and saw the video being filmed in my very own hometown.

The mixture of modern Delta blues and the Acadiana crowd makes this a beautiful celebration of how my home is full of culture and art. I’ve always done a double-take at anyone speaking ill of Southern attitudes towards art, and this just reaffirms how silly of a stereotype that is– and how silly all stereotypes are.

More pride (and horror) for my home coming in a few days. For now, Imma just revel in the beauty.

PCP: Ed Sheeran, Mostly

Monotony Monday #13 – More Morghulis

Game of Thrones‘ Mildly Musical Mistake?

The short of it: Ed Sheeran was fine. Spoilers.

So yeah, new Game of Thrones finally. It’s so exciting, getting to see all the characters we’ve grown to love and hate, seeing old storylines pick up and new ones grow. I’ve got an insane crush on Jon Snuuuu, so I was dying to see his side of the story. But I don’t care about him or any other character anymore. One side character stole the entire show for me, one character that’s become so pivotal and important.

Of course it’s that one redhead Lannister soldier that sang a few lines and said, “Worst place in the world.” In his forty seconds of screen time, everything changed.

No wait, it didn’t. It was just Ed Sheeran playing a young, homesick soldier with a nice singing voice. Much like every single actor ever, it was a person playing a part, and his effort was suffice. I’m not a big fan of his music, but I loved hearing him singing some tavern tune over a fire in an otherwise lonely forest.

It fit what the scene needed– a group of Arya’s supposed enemies remind her that not everyone under a banner is the same. Even for someone as hardened as Arya, it’s undeniable that young people need to be around folks their own age sometimes. She’s spent little time with anyone that’s even close to her in age in months, and she’s spent even less time with people with even a hint of friendliness.

I made the mistake of looking at Twitter when I woke up. There’s the delightful split of the smarmy snark and the odious outrage. Both sides suck.

Apparently if it can’t be expressed in a tweet that barely meets the definition of joke, the only option is to blast anger and emojis. I don’t even want to link those.

The closest I can get to an explanation is the fact that, “Actors are the blank canvas, Ed Sheeran was playing himself!”

With the red leather armor he’s famous for, at the camp of Lannister soldiers, in the perfect place to make Arya’s complete murder of people she considered enemies because of their banner seem like a betrayal of her family’s values.

Classic Ed.

PCP: “Kill Jay Z”

Monotony Monday #12 – Made Man Makes More

“Kill Jay Z,” or the Death of Stale Z

The short of it: In the opening track of his latest album, Jay-Z manages to shake off the rust of years of success to share his pain. 

Despite all the uncertainty around his name (Jay Z, or Jay-Z, or JAY Z), his status as one of the greats is certain.

Unfortunately, his past string of features and singles have all been pretty lackluster. Dated references and weak brags made him more of a track liability than a legend.

It’s been a shame having to hear him go through these stale bars, knowing his distinctive sound is going to waste. He’s got that voice that sounds like it’s always on the cusp of laughing or crying– and after hearing his laugh, I tend to hope it’s crying.

But finally, here his crescendoed enunciation becomes this great conveyor of decades of emotional stress.

Upon seeing the title, I wrote this track off as being some other braggadocios cut from Watch The Throne, another, “I’m rich / they tried to kill me / never gonna scratch that itch” track that’s turned Jay incredibly boring. But instead, it’s about killing his ego. And it’s the opposite of WTT– it’s the loss of Ye and Jay over the success that’s now become a burden. It’s about the personal and public mistakes Jay’s made without addressing. It’s a lifetime of pain hidden by mainstream success that he’s finally facing head on.

Cry Jay Z, we know the pain is real / But you can’t heal what you never reveal

And these lines are for real. There’s no joking about Bey’s album or about any of his problems with the Knowles. As Anthony Fantano put it in his review, he effectively drags himself through the coals the entire song. It’s this mix of self-flagellation and recognition that he must open up to heal. It’s not pity, it’s reclamation. He’s taking credit for his mistakes and personal life, stepping up to the figure revealed by Lemonade and paparazzi. I’m not sure I can think of any other song like this. Sure, Boosie’s got his songs about his mistakes, Gates tried to clear the air about his assault case (and failed, hard, despite the fact the song bangs), Ye gets vulnerable and defends his actions, but none of them accept their failures so openly and honestly. For Jay, this seems like new ground, a sign of the softening he’s gone through as a father.

If this is killing Jay Z, then let’s hope there’s a spree.

PCP: Clams Casino’s Instrumental Mixtape 4

Monotony Monday #11 – More Mixtapes Mister

Clams Casino’s Instrumental Mixtape 4: Incremental Instrumentals

The short of it: Consistent Clammy Clams comes with it again, offering 13 mellow instrumentals that mark him as one of the most unique producers out there. 

Clams Casino came to my attention as the master producer behind Lil B’s “I’m God.”

Three instrumental tapes later (for me, he’s had a couple dozen massive hits with artists like Vince Staples and Rocky), he’s my favorite producer. Despite not quite reaching the highs of his first two tapes, his fourth still provides the ethereal melodies that make him so impressive.

Clams’ proves his mastery with the use of echoed vocals and these tiny little high notes that float over these slightly drawn out bass notes. His music is more a miasma than a melody– the tape, despite having wholly unrelated singles from different artists, blends into this cloudy experience.

It’s Clams Casino’s jackpot.

PCP: Dethklok

Monotony Monday #10 – Most Metal

Dethklok: Timeless

The short of it: Parody that outdoes its source material is rare. Not only does Dethklok successfully mock the quirks and ridiculousness of metal, it outdoes most metal bands in terms of talent and performance. 

The pilot episode of Metalocalypse portrays Dethklok as the world’s most popular band, with legions of fans willing to die to hear the band play.

Three albums (more or less) later, it’s actually understandable why their animated fans would go to the brütal slaughterhouse that is a Dethklok show.

The band is effectively just Brendon Smalls playing with himself. And the result is some of the funniest jokes about the genre delivered through genuinely great metal.

Pretty much every track manages to both kick ass and bring a grin to your face. You’ve got songs like “Dethharmonic,” with these gorgeous, orchestral strings backing this shuddering riff and it’s just beautiful.

And the song is just about not wanting to pay taxes. It’s funny on the surface level, but, like all of Dethklok’s music, makes this grander point about how dumb most metal lyrics are. Even though Small’s got wonderfully clear vocals, other metal bands’ muddled screeches and snarls disguise the utter inanity of most lyrics. And Dethklok is both pointing that out and saying that it’s actually fine– the pretentiousness and elitism that riddle the metal community are as silly as the eighteenth reference to Satan in a three minute song. If it sounds good, it’s good. If it sounds metal, it’s metal.

Dethklok, as a band, is impressive. Dethklok, as a comedic avenue, is impressive. Dethklok as a single man’s project is indescribable.

Well, maybe not.

It actually just takes three words.

Metal. As. Fuck.

PCP: Rain Come Down

Monotony Monday #8 – Vince’s Vivacious Victories

Vince Staples’ “Rain Come Down”: Fresh, Ain’t Fishy

The short of it: A master of delivery and lyricism, Vince is quietly one of the best artists in hip-hop. His upcoming looks to continue his trend of hitting it out of the park.

I’m a huge fan of Vince Staples. His debut album, Summertime 06, immediately impressed me and stayed on heavy repeat for a few months.

Honestly, I’m still not over this one line from “Señorita.” It’s the kind of line that makes me want to grab everyone I see by the shoulders and shout in their face, “DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW GOOD THIS LINE IS?”

We crabs in a bucket / he called me a crab / So I shot at him in front of the Douglas

It’s quintessential Vince– it’s compact, catchy, and clever. There’s like, three layers of brilliance, and each one gets me hype as hell.

But this PCP isn’t about “Señorita.” It’s about one of his three singles for his upcoming album Big Fish Theory.

“Rain Come Down” is the longest of the three released tracks, and it’s easily my personal favorite. I was just walking around at work singing, “When the rain come down!” to myself. Ty Dolla $ign kills the hook, which is great considering the fact that Vince’s weak point is his hooks (everyone has to have a weak point, and I don’t think Vince is anywhere near, like, Tyga or something in terms of hooks).

It’s got the classic amp up outro that isn’t quite as good as the one on “Señorita” (damnit, I said this wasn’t about that song), but it’s still interesting. Same thing with the video– although Vince didn’t need a visual accompaniment since this is just the audio version, the imagery of the fishbowl in the rain is amazing.

The production is pretty classic Vince, with a bouncing bass accompanied by a spread of high hats that shows off his entrancing flow.

Admittedly, I still haven’t listen to his last project. Maybe it was burnout from the album, maybe his work was a little too consistent. But considering this track and his Gorillaz feature, I’m pretty excited to see what this big fish’s small pond sounds like.

PCP: Raleigh Ritchie

Monotony Monday #7 – Music n’ Missandei

Raleigh Ritchie: A Raleigh to Really Rally Behind

The short of it: With a charming mix of melancholy and joy, Raleigh Ritchie’s music is almost always an airy delight. It’s downtrodden indie pop that plays with the genre as well as Jacob Anderson plays the Unsullied leader. 

Roughly four years ago, I downloaded a “Best of June 2013” tape from Sunset in the Rearview. It came with a bit of a melancholy tune by Raleigh Ritchie, who I assumed was just another British sadboi musician that’d never get the acclaim he deserved.

Three years after that, I was screaming at my TV, begging for my favorite secondary Game of Thrones character, Grey Worm, to escape his near-deadly encounter with the Golden Harpies. As soon as he emerged in the third season, I knew he was going to be on my “Please Don’t Die” list.

Lo and behold, it turns out Jacob Anderson is just brilliant as pretty much everything he does.

With the pseudonym of Raleigh Ritchie, Anderson creates ballads of hopeful heartbreak. His music is painfully honest. He gently sings of his sad dreams and struggles, his fantasies and nightmares, everything from his luckiest stumble to his worst mistakes.

It’s absolutely delightful hearing him bounce over the noisy sounds of tracks like “Cowards” before powering over the simplistic piano tune of “Stronger Than Ever,” (my personal favorite).  Everything’s brilliantly and uniquely produced, but they’re all outshone by Anderson’s crooning and lyricism.

I’m more than familiar with the sad said of indie pop and the evolutionary successor to emo, where every girl is a beautiful devil and every fault is your own. But Anderson uses these incredibly human and tender stories of how scared he is of, well, the scariest non-scary parts of living. Growing old, changing, losing the ones you love, he manages to encapsulate them all in songs that never hit preachy or whiny. His versatility with handling the most common of fears is as stunning as the visuals in his videos.

Everything just fits so well in his music. His consistency and experimentation should clash, but they’ve yet to do so. His versatility keeps him afloat, even in the face of the most challenging music possible: Dan Harmon’s freestyling.

Man this dude’s great.