Monday, February 9, 2009
When you think of the state of pop music; of the brain-dead swagger of mainstream hip-hop, the formulaic repetition of "indie" rock and the hundreds of zombie-like dance-rock clones, it's hard to imagine that there are people out there making records that are truly original and truly off the script. Arthur Arellanes III (A.K.A Bizzart) has been steadily evolving a sound that takes hip hop, experimental, dub, video game noise and strings to sculpt a pop landscape that is whole unique.
Sometimes dark with abstract and grotesque angles, sometimes a dream-like collage, weaving personal story lines and keen observation into a synthesis of influences, the whole of the record is more than the sum of it's parts. Listening to the record, it would be easy to fall into the cliche of talking about "going on a journey" through someone's head. From the rough, almost industrial feel of "Android Hearts", or the piano-driven spoken word piece "Changing Stars",(a song that could almost be mistaken for Radiohead) that evolves into an electro-glitch and string workout, with jazz-like breaks in the middle... the genre-hopping sensibility is only over-shadowed by Arthur's ability to maintain a signature sound throughout the experience.
"Hookers And Bling" take a dead-shot on hip-hop's misogyny and materialism, "Back To My Planet" and "My Sister's in Jail" have moments that sound as much like Sufjan Stephens, as they have a truly optimistic feel. All of the tracks, from the indie sounding "Tuesday" to the dub infused "Future Girls" to the almost ballad elements of "Marthur", there's no fear of flipping the script on this one. While each on of the tracks can stand alone, Future Stars and Small Wonders is something that must be digested as a whole to really appreciate. It's kind of like seeing a stereogram for the first time. Like seeing something that rises out of ether.
You can find more information on the record at Joyful Noise Recordings.