Listen to new POLYFUSE (and read Q&A).
The latest from POLYFUSE is a single by the cryptic title of TM 55-1520-210-CL, hard on the heels of his December 2014 album VOMITED HOWLS. TM 55-1520-210-CL (say that 10 times fast) builds to an epic crescendo over the span of 4 minutes. Juicy kick drums of ever increasing intensity pummel the listener as you drown in a whirling vortex of static drenched radio. Every timbre in the track is full of movement which lends an especially hypnotic quality to the repetitive rhythms.
As a long-time fan of the TRASH_AUDIO blog where he and Surachai write primarily about boutique electronic musical hardware and the studios of interesting musicians, I’ve been following the works of Chicago-based musician Justin McGrath aka POLYFUSE for many years. I even had the pleasure of seeing him perform live at the COMPLEX in LA as part of the BL_K NOISE series of post NAMM events. I asked McGrath some questions about TM 55-1520-210-CL and POLYFUSE.
Live improvisation and performance on hardware has played a big part in some of your earlier music. Is TM 55-1520-210-CL an improvisational piece or more of a composed piece?
This one was done on all hardware, just the Elektron Analog Rytm into a Lexicon MPX100 and finally into a DBX 386 tube DI. I have a sort of duality going on in my production where I’ll either spend years crafting or tweaking or do something immediately and record it in a way where even if I wanted to, I can’t make too many changes after the fact.
Is TM 55-1520-210-CL a piece entirely alone or is it intended also as part of a larger body of work?
It stands alone but is meant to be a small blip of a continuation from the album No One Will Come To Save Us because of the way in which it was produced. It’s part of a body of work that I would consider to be a giant and immediate release of built up energy. There’s a lot of shortwave radio recordings in that previous release and I used them again in this one to tie them together.
Please recommend a book that you like
The Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Gary Davis.
If you could work with any artist or musician in the world right now, who would you work with?
If the sky’s the limit I’d pick Alec Empire. I’d try to get his softer side out.