Kurt Weisman - Spiritual Sci-Fi
While Spiritual Sci-Fi is a result of work that Kurt Weisman has been undertaking for the last 10 years, it is certainly also worth noting that he is a multi-instrumentalist in the acclaimed folk outfit Feathers, as well as a member of J Mascis' Witch. Kurt's stunning musicallity and absolute compositional prowess makes this an extremely compelling and wonderfully musical experimental pop-folk recording. The dense & original arrangement recalls the majesty of Van Dyke Parks album Song Cycle.
Kurt Weisman is a New England composer in his late 20s around whom all the wheels of life seem distinctly sped up (he is known for his extreme falsetto as well as pitching up his voice beyond Beatle and into cartoon). Hair is cut into strange shapes and then suddenly shorn, mustaches appear and disappear with alarming frequency, cyber punk outfits melt into freak folk into noise into French bohemian complete with beret (red wine hippydancing at uptight in-store free jazz shows). And it's all taken way too far to be considered staying in fashion. He fills these forms with the content they suggest to him (and his unique eye here is one facet of his genius) until they bear the mark of a kind of insanity, layer upon layer obscuring the original; the figure constantly shifting into the ground for another figure. The songs already sound like they are floating above something else when you hear them with just voice and 12-string. These are not regular songs with weird production. The alternative to the expectation refers to the expectation. He seems to know every tricky thing that has ever happened in pop music and how to take it further, but then takes that further by giving verse 2 all these ear-stretching variations on verse 1. There is a lot of weird meter stuff, little skips and jumps or little things that get stretched that seem inspired by his own computer micro-editing techniques. The "song" and the "production" are a snake biting its own tail. It is not just electronic sounding stuff (filters, pitch shifts, time stretches, delays, videogame sounds, synth sounds, noise, beats) that lives all over these songs, there are also all sorts of weird parts his friends put on top, too. Music teachers, ex jazz students, self-taught searchers: New England is the future of music. Chord upon chord upon chord upon chord. The "chord" is dead. This is something else. None of this is some kind of other from another genre or some critical or ironic side of his personality, it all grows from the same spirit that made the song itself. Some process is set into motion that is so creative it becomes destructive but somehow it all feels really good and also really spiritually and scientifically accurate. Kurt knows we are all going to die and that it is okay. The whole history of the composition is right there in the same space just like the planet, the universe, the soul. Creation and destruction are one.