Christian Michael Filardo
Justice [LP; Lime Lodge]

It’s odd how often I find my palette cleansers from more “challenging” releases to be the 90’s alternative music of my youth. That, too, has become an exploration of sorts as I’ve aged and discovered music and bands that never crossed my path as a landlocked youth in the Midwest. I always return to my current self, because as I begin to dissect those older albums and their flaws (and the love I have regardless of said flaws for many both celebrated and rejected), I also recall the isolation of the era. Everything was manufactured to the point that the word “alternative” became bastardized. It became a rhetorical question. But allow me to apply it to Christian Michael Filardo’s Justice, an album that absolutely nothing in common with the alternative music of two decades ago, but truly frames what alternative could mean in the 21st century. At its core, Justice is a difficult listen because it scatters random ideas into dots and patterns that speak as some modern Morse code I’m unable to parse. But that’s the point — it’s an alternative to just about any sort of experimentation I can compare it to. It’s glitch, but only in how it handles the production of noise and the intervals in which it is unveiled. It’s avant-garde, but only in lip service, for Justice also seems to be taking the piss out of the idea of avant-garde as it is blanketed across a cornucopia of sounds. So here I am, about to do the same to Justice by somehow labeling it alternative? But at the core of alternative — the idea that what everyone else is listening to is set, but this one thing is a stark departure from those set ideas — Justice is indeed such. Not only does it deviate from anything remotely pop, but it really has little in common with most treasured and hyped experimental and underground musics. Each listen is a challenge beyond a mere palette cleanse. This has a flavor and texture all its own; an alternative to taste all together. An alternative to music and art, entirely.

Links: Lime Lodge


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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