I got an advance copy of Interabang from maximum homie Rob Uslan a.k.a. Supersillyus on October 7th and innocently downloaded it as a soundtrack for my interwebs coding adventures that day prior to the nightly musical escapades that often represent daily rhythm.
Back story: I met Mr. Sillian immediately after moving back to Boston in late 2010. I went to see a show at Allston’s Wonder Bar (which may have been Music Ecology), and this dude executed some truly worthy tuneage. There was also a guy cooking pancakes on stage, so I ate one. I was shocked (at the time) – being an elder-old-school-high-baller who needed to get off my soap box, that true school raving is over and would never be the same. I come from the days of a warehouse in a low income neighborhood (err can I call it a ghetto?) 2 turntables, a strobe light, and 300 of your closest friends who got there by calling a telephone based voice mailbox and listening to the recording… sans interwebs. Yeah I thought I was cool.
Supersillyus rocked my world that night, and I was stoked to see younger generations continuing to innovate where the previous ones had left off. In days since past, electronic dance music was not much more than a sandwich full of ostinatos, until a new style called jungle hit the scene and today, the days of purely textural exploration in electronic music have continued to blossom into something much larger.
What I saw that night is what I continue to hear in the new Supersillyus album Interabang. Musical techniques such as odd meter – not the art-snob-uber-avant-my-fans-can-kiss-my-ass kind but rather the user friendly kind. Think Brahams not Stravinsky. In layman terms, this means that the listener can nod their head to it but something feels a bit… umm… silly about it. I also hear continued and genuine melodic direction with harmonic development. The music of Supersillyus is going places. In the past a lot of EDM (before it was called EDM) had a syndrome where the all important groove that compels people to dance would nearly cease simply because of a Debussyan effect. This is NOT the case here, resulting from consistent melodic augmentation. Supersillyus arrangements are orchestral in nature: well thought out and conceived.
Now for a blow by blow rundown of the album, beginning with “Palindromeda” – the vocal reminds us that “there’s a lot of stuff that we take for granted that are constants that… really don’t have to be constants – they could very well not be.” This is a Spiritual Principle (although expressed in psychedelic fashion) encouraging those who are willing to make an attempt at embracing cyclical change and the inevitable cycle of death and rebirth. Given the title I imagine there are reversed and ordered manipulation of the sillian style tone rows going on in this work à la composer Anton Webern. “Collide–O–Scope“ in particular is very cinematic – why is this guy not writing movie sound tracks yet? I can see action stars and tabloid goddesses twerking to this, especially in accompaniment to the emotionally epic key change at about seven minutes.
As is the case with Supersillyus, we are also exposed to balls-tripping arpeggiators reminiscent of an ImpOSCar wielded by Joie Hinton from Ozric Tentacles. If you’ve never heard of them, y’all better ask somebody. With the title track “Interabang‽,” we are reassured that in case there was any doubt, psychedelia is alive and well thanks in part to Supersillyus. The rhythm in this track is stellar, grinding fearlessly along, never revealing where the actual downbeat is but never losing itself either, like running down a love tunnel in the dark filled with the sort of background ambience that you feel more than hear. And when you think you’re listening to it, you realize it may never have been there in the first place. Appropriately, a voice points out the beauty in “something God level acting childlike.” “The Silly Revolution” represents the irie funk, revealed at around 4:30 when the triple meter twisted dub clavinet kicks in. Woot. The closing track “Bananotechnology” delivers the real meat of a super silly message to us – “nonsense is needed, without nonsense, sense has no perspective, without sense, nonsense makes no sense.”
I advise you to proceed to your nearest download location and grab this five track whopper while it’s still not too hot to metaphysically touch.