This week’s Recommendations in Brief features quite a few synthesizers, and one of those films that I should have seen a while ago but never got round to it.
For your starter, a video essay about Gorillaz and the deconstruction of genre:
It’s strange how I can trace my interest in different musical genres to Gorillaz. It’s like when you stop mid-conversation and try and work out how on earth you got onto the topic of the aggressive personalities of hippopotamuses. My fairly straight forward music taste began to branch off towards the various collaborators and genres that Gorillaz introduced me to. This video essay examines those branches.
The Butterfly Effect. Another film that I knew the name and reputation of, but had never got round to seeing. It popped up on Netflix and I gave it a go. Having watched it, I understand why it could be regarded as silly or trashy, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was like someone took the style and cast of an American high school rom-com and threw in a Christopher-Nolan-esque high concept. It’s simultaneously fun and creepy, like Donnie Darko with a higher colour saturation. If you want a camp 90s American version of Black Mirror, this is for you.
Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, explaining the process behind their creation. It’s kind of like a director’s commentary, but for music. The Weezer episode was particularly interesting, they have a strangely regimented and obsessive approach to song writing which involves scat singing and spreadsheets.
Synthy women. Having also listened to the CHVRCHES episode of Song Exploder, I’ve recently been enjoying the combination of female vocalists and synthesisers. An oddly specific mix, but you never know what’s going to get stuck in your head. This has been a week of Lana Del Rey, CHVRCHES, and Grimes. Here are some tracks for your perusal: