There is the school of thought that music is for pure enjoyment. Something to have on in the background with good friends, good beer and good food. Bopping tunes to make you nod your head, stamp your feet or facilitate that which is ubiquitously known as shaking your booty. It’s all well and good, but you hear enough about that music on pop radio stations, billboard magazines and the thirty micro-seconds of airtime where MTV lets up its onslaught of bar-lowering reality TV long enough to eek out a few interlaced frames of music videos.
Submitted for your approval, music that takes the time to build a landscape and world for you to actively wade through rather than sit down and be pushed along. I was once told that activities like puzzle-solving and critical thought strengthen the mind, literally forming creases in the brain, increasing the surface area which increases synaptic connections and ultimately intelligence. That story might be complete horsepucky, but it does make a good point and provides a great visual. Challenge the mind in unique ways and you will learn new things, make mental associations you would never have made otherwise. I began this journey in respect to music when in college I was handed a CD copy of Aphex Twin’s “Richard D. James” album. To put it convolutedly, it played cat’s cradle with my grey matter. The early reaction was, “You just can’t use drums like that, it’s not fair!” But there it was, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve learned to love music that jabs you firmly in the cortex, daring you to like it.
The artist and album at hand isn’t completely left-of-center but does ride it’s own razor’s edge. More “Crease the Noodle” music pieces will feature much more challenging fare, but it’s good to start off slow. Lorn hails from that mercurial hub of musical boundary-stretching called the Brainfeeder label, based in Los Angeles and founded by Flying Lotus.
Unleashed upon the interwebs earlier this month, Lorn’s “Nothing Else” is a trip through a dark, cinematic world. Here’s a taste with some visuals to boot:
From the opening overture track “Grandfather” you find yourself trapped inside an ominous antique clock. The color palette hints at both the epic scope of the rest of the album and it’s heavy sci-fi leanings. In fact, once heard it states a great case for pairing with a modern-day film adaptation of material from the cyberpunk genre much like Vangelis helped elevate the already lush imagery of “Blade Runner” into the stylistic stratosphere.
Go ahead, fold a few synapses.
Available now at all your favorite digital music stores. If you’d like to hear more than just the 30 second samples on iTunes, check out a site called Bleep which allows you to hear the tracks in their entirety with periodic interruptions.