Smoke & Origination
Hailing from Toronto Canada, Christopher, who found most conventions and current musical climates quite disagreeable, is a 3rd generation student drop out of Bela Bartok. Originally a classically trained guitarist, Christopher transmuted into a multi-ethnic dual gender vocal firestorm and fringe composer. The first incarnation was the 2001 release 'wer Next Projekt' which according to writer Garry Sharpe-Young was 'A truly remarkable piece of work.' According to wikipedia.org, ''wer Next Projekt' is a genre-defying album released in 2001. It includes a mix of exotica, classical, metal, and electronica. 'This record is impossible to describe' (was) often associated with this release. The contents of 'wer Next Projekt' ended up being licensed heavily to independent films, interpretive choreographers, and other media artists due to it's unique sound and adaptive characteristics to visual media.' Fast forward 5 years of relocating, reinventing, whimsical auditions for Finnish metal bands, studio fires and floods, 'Smoke and Origination' is released; a 68 minute opus that shares some of the same discordant ambitions Brian Wilson laid down in 'Pet Sounds' back in the 60's. Unlike the sunny disposition of Brian Wilson's opus, 'Smoke and Origination' documents urban sprawl and the cannibalistic homogenization of western life. The fact the album is in one key is possibly a metaphor for the horrific redundancy of new development, corporate borne communities, and how these environs decimate the psyche; rendering it unable to properly articulate, emote, leaving the protagonist a frustrated immature consumer. The environment is never directly assaulted in the album, in favour of documenting situations and emotions that happen to exist within that environment. Instead of channeling the usual spiritual calm that westerners perceive in world music, Christopher amplifies the dark, jarring aspects of the music from Arabia to Africa; a raw cabal of bloody nerves flailing against a beaten back. While the west searches elsewhere for consumable peace, Christopher's re-invention of world beat serves to remind that they will never find peace; no matter how sweet Starbucks makes the flavour. Despite Christopher's contempt for retro chic, each composition on 'Smoke and Origination' is built around motifs JS Bach composed centuries before. Examples of this include the mangling of Bach's 'Air' motif in the vignette 'Purpose?.' As for the use of Bach's work, not even Christopher knows. 'I attribute that to a higher meddling power of sorts.' What is apparent throughout the record is a vicious reconstruction of pop/rock formulas; using approaches found in the avant garde and often reviled progressive rock and metal subgenres. Christopher's unaffected 'au naturale' gender bending vocals glues all the seemingly disjointed pieces together to create an innovative concept record we here at Ikonowerk believe defies any comparison.