♫♪  Ryoma Maeda - “Never​-​Ending Perversion”

My friends and I use the word “pervy” to describe music we find particularly fucked-up, skewed, or divorced from reality in a way that both disturbs and entertains us. The people who make this kind of music are, of course, “pervs.” This is a high compliment. If a given artist rejects convention and forges his or her own insane personal vocabulary, I am all ears. (NB: Life is hard when your entire body is made of ears.) Some prototypical uber-pervs off the top of the head: Beefheart, Gary Wilson, The Residents. Modern high order pervs: Foodman, Dilloway, Container. May musical perversion, as an institution, never end.

Japanese multi-instrumentalist Ryoma Maeda twists a wide variety of sounds and styles into the individual cogs that make up his overarching experimental (see: perved-out) aesthetic. His 2014 opus Rhapsody In My Life, for example, splinters solo piano performances into minutely detailed cut-up compositions flecked with glitchy stutters and half-remembered ambient field recordings. Though the tangible results of this process prove to be gorgeous, the process itself reveals an urge to corrupt traditional forms with fresh compositional perspectives. Rewind ~10 years and scope out 2005’s in beach​,​side ill​-​spot under the Milch of Source moniker to witness Maeda’s corruptive tendencies in full swing, as he twists circus-core fanfares, battering drum programming, and abrasive synth blasts into a grotesque and/or beautiful vision of maxed-out electronic performance. (This album has assumed a sort of perv holy grail status for me at this point.)

Back to the present day: 2015 finds Maeda collaborating with a crew called The Romantic Suiciders, which he describes as a “synthesizer garage punk band.” Great. Press play on our first taste of this ensemble, “Never-Ending Perversion.” Smile and wonder along with me: “What the hell is going on here?” Bumping synth lines and funked percussion from the Nakata Yasutaka school of proggy J-pop float under warped auto-tune vocals that exist somewhere between vocaloid pop and the outsider stylings of, say, Chief Keef and Farrah Abraham (TMT All Stars). The juxtaposition of the winking pop production and the vocal mutation — or more specifically, the use of a typically corrective software to achieve further disfigurement — carries Maeda’s history of first-class perversion into some twisted future that I, for one, am ready for.

• Ryoma Maeda; http://ryomamaeda.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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