♫♪  Jerry Paper - Jerry Paper Feels Emotions

Jerry Paper Feels Emotions and allegedly so do we. If past tape releases on Orange Milk or Digitalis haven’t acquainted you with the singular world of Brooklyn resident Jerry Paper (neé Lucas Nathan), his debut LP on Patient Sounds, streaming in full below, will introduce the reluctant maestro in splendid fashion. If you’re wondering “Who Is Jerry Paper?” the documentary short released alongside this album will answer this question more fully than I ever could. If you’re wondering “Where in the dense timeline of contemporary music can I contextualize Jerry Paper?” the next paragraph is subtitled: Something Of A Lineage.

In the 1950s, lounge legends Esquivel and Martin Denney fill parlors and kitchenettes across the world with “exotic” tones and animal sounds that evoke stylized visions of South Pacific, Latin, and Asian cultures → In 1978, Haruomi Hosono spurs Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi to adapt Denny’s composition “Firecracker” into the “chunky electric disco featuring synthesizers” of Yellow Magic Orchestra → Hosono pioneers chiptune with his Namco collaboration Video Game Music in 1984 → Around the turn of the century, ensembles like Stereolab and Broadcast hijack the trivialized tones of lounge and chiptune and juxtapose them against repetitious kraut-rock performances and detached vocalizations →

Cut to present day: Jerry Paper meticulously programs and records an amalgam of lounge, post-YMO electronica, and video game music from a bedroom arsenal of analog synths and drum machines, and he croons over these “vintage” sounds about his own insecurities, romantic tribulations, and internet-era ennui. While the traditions that JP channels were designed to hypnotize and captivate the masses (see: sell units) with their novel tones and repetitive grooves, he aligns himself with Stereolab and Broadcast by applying those signifiers to quite opposite ends: to make us consider our “slapstick nightmare” existence, analyze our own quotidian desperations, question our state of technological and cultural saturation, wonder how and if we’re going to work it all out.

Say (or feel) what you will about Jerry Paper’s identity crisis frame narrative — does he musically deliver the goods? Oh, does he. Yeah, man. Ya. He totally does. His loping analog compositions exceed their predecessors in levels of squelch, synth layering, and harmonic complexity (check out the ascending chord structure before the coda in “Today Was a Bad Day” or the gorgeous melodic break of “Holy Shit”). His lyrics hit the sweet spot between hyper-specific self-deprecation and universal emotional truths (“If I stumble around / That’s because I’m drunk” vs. “Maybe / It’s not so bad / To be here / Without you”). His song sequence bubbles with bizarre interludes that flesh out his alter-ego with a brand of satire somewhere between Tim and Eric’s Tom Goes To The Mayor and Zappa’s We’re Only In It For The Money. The emotions I feel while listening to this album include: wonder, glee, empathy, gear-related envy, satisfaction, mild depression, hope. Excuse me, I have to go jam “Want to Be the Waves” until I become the waves.

You can order Jerry Paper Feels Emotions from Patient Sounds now.

• Jerry Paper: http://jerrypaper.bandcamp.com/
• Patient Sounds: http://www.patient-sounds.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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