“My Listen to Battles – Mirrored on Spotify Uncovered the Earthly Monster Known as Black Moth Super Rainbow”

It’s really not pride, I don’t think, that brews in me all this compunction about how Spotify just keeps playing random music after your album is over. I mean, chances are, they’re not going to uncover anything as good as what you’d selected for your purposeful listen, right?

Well, some time last week after having finished a full run-through of Battles’ flagship “experimental rock” [1] album Mirrored, my virgin a** got treated to a gruesome litany of madness in the form of an endless sequence of bands pushing music to its outer limits. One selection I definitely recall the little gnome in my Spotify randomly generating was something off of Don Caballero’s 1998 album What Burns Never Returns, undoubtedly their best effort. Then, it my splendid privilege to hear Deerhunter, one of my favorite bands and my favorite act at the 2009 incarnation of Lollapalooza, in the form of “Nothing Ever Happens,” the best song on their album Microcastle (2008).

I mean, that computerized algorithm was kicking out the funk on a colossal level, with all the tunes taking music and turning it on its side, stretching sound, song structure, mixes and even vocal techniques into uncomfortable and gloriously predatory areas. My favorite, though, I think, was Black Moth Super Rainbow, and though I don’t recall the exact tune, I’m all but sure it was something from their fourth album, Dandelion Gum (2008).

Anyway, just to update things a little bit, the opener on this album, “Forever Heavy,” has a set of vocals so spliced and fu**ed that I can’t even tell if it’s just one or two people singing on it — it sounds like one and a half people. To make matters even zanier, there’s even a synthesizer that sounds exactly like and seems to have the exact timbre of the half-vocal crap, which is also divied between the right and left speaker with egalitarian stupendousness. A grating, maniacal church organ ensues, sounding like it’s being played by and eight year old, and the vocals only get weirder, spliced temporally and buried under fathoms of reverb and debilitative mixing. I’m pretty sure the pope would excommunicate this band instantly, also, if he heard the synth solo at the end of this cut, which sounds like a Moog being funneled through an echo chamber. After being subjected to endless hours of wallpaper-like music in the form of Hozier and commercial rap, let’s just say this Spotify algorithm was like a religious experience. So at the risk of having the Spanish Inquisition come after me, I’d just like to announce officially that I have seen the light.


[1] en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles.