As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to shed a bit of light and share a bit of information on the up and coming sounds of artists such as Social Junk.
As one with any amount of reading comprehension would imagine, the mangled noise of strings, brass, and loops that filter in and out of the work of Social Junk would give the band a pedestal not far removed from the heaps of gold Fred Sanford called home. Born Into It, the duo’s (with some help) latest release from Oklahoma outcast Digitalis, is a collection of found and created sound — taking one man’s trash and turning into another’s treasure. There is art of all varieties waiting to be uncovered, if you’re willing to dig through the heaps.
Born Into It jumps off the cliff of creative sanity from the offset. “It Just Isn’t The Same” rattles and creeks like a Christmas carol melting in the heat and humidity of late July; a transfiguration of “Jingle Bells” and “Little Drummer Boy” into a gelatinous pool of blackened wax fashioned into a lump of coal. “Those Final Seconds” unreels like the lost take from an Albert Ayler session. Blasts of sound, not far removed from scatting horn sections or a badelynge of ducks calling out for their lost young, compete with echoing vocals and maddening snare rolls and cymbal clanks. “Grief” borrows heavily from the Pocahaunted playbook, with prolonged caterwauls filling in the spaces between heaving synthesizer loops. “Behind a Wall” proves to be the harshest track with its near two-minutes of white noise static; the accompaniment to the Poltergeist reaching out from the television to grab the effervescent and astute blonde child. Born Into It, for all its junkyard antics, is the man that collects recyclables from rubbish bins in the hopes of accruing enough to save a retirement nest egg. The more you sit and watch Born Into It grow under its ever increasing stash of reuse, the happier you’ll become and the easier you’ll breath.
Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who also runs the webzine, Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up and Thursday edition of Song of the Day for the KEXP Blog. You can now follow him on Twitter.