Thumpdrag - G.I.R.L..S.
Galactically-Irregular & Readily-Listenable Substances (G.I.R.L.S.) is quite possibly the worst possible title for an album, but that shouldn't dissuade you from choosing to press play. Thumpdrag, the brain behind the music, has used what sounds like incredible talent to create an eerie, creepy, disjointed listening experience in order to help listeners understand what it's like to live with derealization, or DR, where one sees a world "lacking vividness and emotional coloring.” He started experiencing it after a bad trip and has used his music as a way to make sense of what was happening to him.
With G.I.R.L.S., each track features the name of a different girl, though those are actually references to specific drugs. And each track takes you on either a good or bad trip. Pointing to specific tracks is difficult on an album like this. For a start, I'm completely unfamiliar with the drug references. But from the perspective of a musician, each track is filled with interesting drumbeats and synth tones that don't fit your standard idea of what music is meant to be about.
Rather than write songy-songs about what it's like experiencing derealization, Thumpdrag has decided to show the listener what it's like by taking them on the very same trip that he experienced. Samples from the streets of Chicago and movies add to the experience, creating a world that feels real and vaguely familiar. It's as if the city of Chicago had as much a hand in the creation of the album as the substances that inspired it. The city is a character in this world and Thumpdrag is trying to figure out why it doesn't appear to make any sense.
While the project is primarily non-musical by the very nature of the lack of melody or any structure, it's an expertly crafted piece of performance art that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. I could see it working well in the form of a film as well. It feels more like a philosophical exercise that forces you to think about what the point of music actually is. But everything seems kind of gray now.
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