I guess this is what I was looking for when I kicked off this Saturday Spin feature here on the TML – something I would probably never have found if I didn’t pick a random disc off the shelf, I promise one of these weeks I’m gonna get a flick of this pile for you all to get an idea of what it is I’m working with. On that note, let me talk about Boy In Static.
Being as many of these discs were acquired while I was still involved with KSUB, I’m fortunate enough to have one sheets for many of the artists whose discs I’m surrounded by. Alexander Chen is a one man band (although the website says that Boy In Static is now comprised of two people) who plays a dozen or so instruments, sings, writes, and puts it all together to some interesting results.
Boy In Static “December”
I’ll be the first to admit this is definitely out of my comfort zone. Anyone familiar with the TML knows where my musical listening habits lie, but this reminds me of things I used to seek out on a much more regular basis. The experimental nature of his sound is refreshing and the boundaries he pushes merging so many sounds together is great! But I won’t suggest this to anyone looking for some excitement in their day.
Moving at a generally slow pace this album reminds me of sitting awake in the morning as you watch the sun rise. It’s melancholy at times thanks to his string work on a number of tracks, “Tear Down” being a stand out that builds to a great climax thanks to some stuttering drum programming reminiscent of some of the Aphex Twin work.
Boy In Static "Tear Down"
Elsewhere you hear hints of the indie rock movement, especially in his vocals as they are sad and depressingly sung and then ran through effects processors (no auto tune here!) to give them a ghost like quality. His choice of sounds only emphasizes the continuing overall sad feel to the record as he plays the accordion often and generally distorts everything at least a little bit.
Even with it’s feel, the album won’t depress if you can wrap your head around it’s sounds and enter Boy In Static’s warped reality. He put his first album out with the Notwist’s label and then hit the road with 13 & God (The Notwist and Anticon’s Themselves) which had an obvious influence on the direction of this album – if you listened to the 13 & God record you will know exactly what I mean upon hearing the first few minutes of Violet.
Boy In Static “Leave You Blind”
Having played through this album throughout the day I’m certain that it will be a rare occurrence for me to actively play this album, but at the same time something has kept me intrigued all day. It may not be your typical cup of tea, but everyone can use a little diversity in their life, grab a couple tracks and let ‘em play – you might be surprised by their life.
Bonus Video “First Love”
Boy In Static - First Love from Boy in Static on Vimeo.