Andrew Younker's latest release Microchasm attempts to achieve the most difficult task in music; how to represent true feeling at a particular time of life. It makes this record a deeply personal one, and extremely meaningful too. But will it make sense to us listening to it?
My brother forced me to think of like 15 names for the record and I had to pick the one that made the most sense. The word is kind of a bastardization of 'Microcosm' I guess; when something small represents something larger. That terrifies me! Where is the line drawn? Can my entire life be pinned to a couple key moments? The "chasm" part comes from that sort of destructive mindset, it can be really easy to get lost in your own mind struggling to find out what seconds define it all. The album tried to capture that.
Electric Chair is special to me but I think Totaled Ambulance is my favorite. The line "when will you become important?" might seem like I'm taking a stab at someone I know personally, but I'm really talking to myself. That's why it sounds the most anxious and maybe even self-deprecating. The last 30 seconds with the blaring lead guitar makes me want to throw a fucking fit and it definitely is the best musical representation of my emotions as I wrote the record.
Jay Reatard Oh It's Such A Shame I can't stop listening to Blood Visions. Jay made catharsis seem so easy. The way this track ends in all of its shimmering glory changed the way I looked at garage rock for Microchasm. The ugly can be the most beautiful if its pushed hard enough.
Animal Collective Daily Routine This is where I kinda grabbed all the synth ideas on the album. Electric Chair starts with a synth line that starts at 500 bpm or something ridiculous, then slows down until the bass and drums join the track. Daily Routine kind of worked the opposite way, and even though the music doesn't really sound similar, I only ever dream of hitting the emotional highs that Merriweather Post Pavilion hits.
2814 悲哀/Sorrow I don't know if this track makes any musical appearances in Microchasm, but it has meant too much to me, especially when I was recording, to not include it here. I know this genre might not be the most respected or highly touted in terms of originality, but 2814 is different to me. This song takes all the anxiety and bargains with me. It lets me slip in to a very calm state of nausea.
Andrew Younker's Microchasm looks inward and discovers the endless possibilities of imagination and introspection. But it's also a strenuous record to describe. Andrew's idea on creating music is the following: "If I keep releasing music as fast as I am then I'll have a very accurate representation of how I felt in that exact time and space. A bunch of little microcosms of my life. And maybe it will keep me from losing my mind". It's a double-edge sword, you'll either get it right away or hate it forever. We've made our decision...
At times this record feels like a mix-tape Andrew has made for himself. Six songs made of six different experiments. But it also proves a great ability to switch and toy with sounds, textures and melodies. On Microchasm there are funky bass lines (Down The Stairs / Pretend Therapist), dub dream-pop sequences (Totally Ambulance) and post-punk 80's prophecies (Electric Chairs). It's surprising, it's satisfying, and most of all very, it's very very functional. He has proved he is smart enough to specialize and capture a moment; creating moods rather than sounds.